Dogs with swollen faces.

Beestung lab (2) Every so often a dog comes in with a swollen face.  In fact, twice in a twelve-hour period this weekend I've seen a dog with a swollen face (different dogs, okay?) Look at that right lip and left eye.  "What happened to him?" We don't know.

Dachshunds (more commonly than other breeds) sometimes get facial swelling as a part of a drug or vaccine reaction.  It's like hives (urticaria for you scientific types).  Some type of allergic reaction, we think.

Insect stings are probably the most common reason that dogs look like this.  Again, an allergic-type reaction,  but rarely as severe as the anaphylactic reactions that make your bronchial tubes swell shut.  Those are the ones that cause you to quickly turn blue and die if you aren't carrying your epi-pen [a device for injecting a pre-measured dose of epinephrine, aka adrenaline — it opens them back up].

Snake-bites are a less common cause of facial swelling.  In our part of the country, the only poisonous snakes we have to contend with are the copperhead and the cottonmouth.  Dogs always investigate nose-first, so snake-bites almost always are on the front of the muzzle.  The dog usually does not swell up anyplace else.  When your basic mutt gets a face like a Shar Pei, think snake-bite.

Most of these would get okay eventually without much treatment.  We give them antihistamines and cortisone, plus pain medicine if needed.  The snakebites also should be treated like any other contaminated puncture wound (antibiotics).  Unless there is respiratory distress, they really aren't emergencies.  Of course, when it's your dog who is "blown up" they can sure look an emergency.

283 thoughts on “Dogs with swollen faces.

    • Karen Davey says:

      My poor Millie girl looked just like the pic! After reading all the responses here, I believe she had an allergic reaction to a philodendron plant that I trimmed with my hands! She was throwing up, coughing and restless. I gave her Benadryl 50mg and so far so good. She has some sores on her face from scratching it, but the swelling has gone down and she’s keeping food down. Thanks so much for the info in this article!

        • Ann Domico says:

          My dog has been racing around the house all night. After a few hours he quit and now has slowed down. His face is all swollen. As far as we know he does not have allergies. He has Addison’s disease but has always gotten the proper shot each month and prednisone and has never had any reactions. His face is now swollen and he does not to be near us.

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Ann,
            Sorry that I have been off line for a few days. That certainly sounds like the type of allergic reaction I would expect with an insect sting. I hope that things are back to normal now.

      • Andrew Owen says:

        My border collie was stung on the noes he had lump come up on noes we had inflammatory injection and tablets for him from vet tablets are 3 times a day for week the lump has started to go down quite a bit now after the injection and the tablets have started to work I hope your dog’s ok no Anne take care

        • Daniel says:

          My dog iris has a swollen left side of her face and it has started to harden and also swelling has moved to the underneath of her jaw with what appears to be a small hole of some kind on her cheek she obviously doesn’t have much energy and seems to be drooling alot. Any ideas, going to get her to vet asap but most vets around me are closed for the weekend

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Daniel,
            Sorry I’ve gotten so far behind in answering my posts. I suspect you have already had this handled. I would have been suspicious of a foreign object in the mouth, but also a tooth problem, possibly a wound, or even a tumor. I hope things are going well for you.

  1. sherry says:

    Omg! This looks like my dog yesterday! Her left eye blewup top of her nose & inside right lip the parts that was so swellon looked almost bloody bright red. I took her to a local er vet they muzzeled her she was not bhaving but they could not give her a correct exam due to muzzle & it all in face area they said they gave her injection of benedryl & something else sent me on my way with 4day supply of predizone & 50mg hydroxazlene they said for itching and a $200.bill (not that my dog isn’t worth it) but now she is worse she is sick laying around,throwing up about 15x,urinating like crazy & eating grass like no tommorow!! I called this er vet place back they told me to bring her back but it would b more $$ I’m mad cuz they already couldn’t handle her & examine her correctly idk if I should coontine to give her these pills if its making it worse. She also just had all her yrly vaccines exactly 2weeks ago I didn’t feed her anything out of norm & we know she didn’t get into anythingin or around house to cause this please any suggestions I would most greatly appreciate she is 4yrs old aprox 45lbs about 10lbs overweight she is mixed spayed we believe sheltie&amer eskm. Thank you

  2. Doc says:

    Hello, Sherry,

    Sorry to be so late in replying, but I was out, due to having a medical procedure myself.

    In a situation like this (hindsight being better than foresight), I probably would have sedated the dog for an exam, rather than trying to muzzle her. This is a difficult call. I have been bitten after a sedated dog grabbed me as I was approaching with a tongue depressor to try and lift her lip without touching her.

    I hope she is better by this time (two days later). That type of sudden blow-up is usually an allergic reaction, or a severe infection. That type of facial swelling is not usually accompanied by vomiting. I can’t think of a good explanation that ties it all together from the data you have given me.

    Please let me know what has happened in the last two days.

  3. Theresa says:

    hey the same thing is happening to my dog right now….and it was 4 days ago she had vaccinations and she is currently taking prednisolone for other issues…..what did you end up doing?

  4. Doc says:

    Since she is already on a form of cortisone, I might add antihistamines, I might up the dose, but I would DEFINITELY call your veterinarian to report what is going on and get his/her advice. Your veterinarian knows your dog and is best equipped to advise you.

  5. Mishelle says:

    My dogs face swelled up, not as severely as this poor dog, but it’s still pretty bad this morning. I was wondering if it could be something other then an insect bite. She didn’t eat anything out of the norm, except a deviled egg that my dad made, although she’s had them before. We gave her some benadryl and it seemed to have worked a little, but it’s still pretty swollen. Could it be a tooth problem? I’m scared for her, she is about 13 years old, and she has tumors all over her body, but they’re non-life threatening, just from aging. Could it be another?

  6. Doc says:

    Hello, Mishelle,

    It could be a tooth. Another cause of facial swelling would be a swollen lymph node under the jaw. This could cause fluid to accumulate in the face.

    The lymph node can be swollen due to an infection (including throat or teeth). Worse would a tumor in the lymph node itself.

    If the swelling has not resolved in 24 hours, you need to take your dog to her veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  7. Todd jones says:

    How soon would it happen? And would she itch? Our Daschund came in tonight and is swelling and itching. She had vaccines yesterday.

  8. Doc says:

    Hello, Todd,

    With vaccine reactions, they usually occur within six to eight hours (generally sooner).

    If it is over 24 hours since the vaccines, I would suspect another cause, possibly an insect sting.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  9. Tony says:

    My dog vomited 4 times last night. This morning he woke up with a swollen face. He hasn’t been out of my sight for basically the last 4 days. We went to the beach over the weekend but that was 2 days ago and he was never outside my watch. He is a Chesapeake so what he did do was go chase a ball into the ocean like he always does. He will intake saltwater and have diarrhea for a day but nothing like this. I gave him benadryl 20 min ago. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Doc says:

    Hello, Tony,

    The benadryl is a good start. This does sound likely to be an allergic reaction.

    It could also be due to swollen lymph nodes in the throat area causing poor circulation. If he is not responding pretty rapidly to the Benadryl, then I would take him to your veterinarian.

    Even if it is only an allergic reaction, he might need some systemic form of cortisone as a more effective treatment than the antihistamine.

    Good luck.

  11. Beth S. says:

    My Shar-Pei/Basset Hound mix had a very swollen face about 2 weeks ago. We took him to the ER vet and they diagnosed him with an allergic reaction (to what remains a mystery). He was given a Benedryl and steroid shot there and prescribed Benedryl pills for the next 2 days. Today he is having swelling again. This time it’s mostly only in his eyes. He also vomited twice. We gave him some Benedryl and the swelling has mostly went away, however, he just vomited twice in the past hour. How concerned should I be? Does this require an immediate vet visit or might it pass?

  12. Doc says:

    Hello, Beth,

    If the swelling responds rapidly to Benadryl, then an allergic reaction is the most likely diagnosis.

    Finding out the cause is often difficult. You might start keeping a journal of the dog’s activity (location, food intake, possible insect exposure, etc.) and see if you can determine a pattern.

    There is a genetic disease of purebred Shar Peis that causes fever and kidney damage, usually with swelling in multiple areas. I have not heard of this in mixed breeds, but I suppose it could happen. This is a severe disease that shortens the life of the dog. I would not expect it to respond to Benadryl.

    I think it would be worthwhile to visit your regular veterinarian for a checkup and discussion of the situation.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

    With an allergic reaction, we would be most concerned about swelling of the airways making the breathing difficult. That would be an emergency situation.

    • Esperanza Antonio says:

      So my dog has always had really bad allergies in his eyes his whole life. On 1st week of July he woke up with a super swollen eye oozing&practically shut and his whole eyebrow&abovewas super swollen.I took him to the vet the vet swore it was his teeth I told him no. He is in severe pain he is not going to let you examine him I had him muzzled. I told him it’s his eye he gave him an antibiotic shot and sent him home with gabapentin antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory.he got better by the third day but we kept giving him the medication. The same thing happened at the end of July. I could not take him to the doctor I told my daughter to please give him the Benadryl for a couple of days and the anti-inflammatory that he did not finish because I had to leave on an emergency out of the country. He was better within three days again when I called. On the 1st of August I woke up to two swollen eyes, eyebrows,and the top of his head above his eyebrows was extremely swollen.needless to say he was in severe pain. I was waiting for my disability check to go into my bank so I used an ointment I brought back from Mexico for myself for my dry eyes in two days his eyes improved dramatically,the swelling went down on his eyebrows and very visibly on the top of his head good thing I took a picture I showed it to the doctor she said wow you putting this ointment on him three times in two days did this that’s great. She said I’m going to prescribe you gabapentin for pain an antibiotic and Anti-inflammatory he has improved dramatically including the size of the bump on his head . He’s got a follow up in eight days but now that he’s letting us touch it it’s really hard what could it be this time it didn’t go away like the last two times ????I am so sorry for budding in desperate and my vet is already closed until tomorrow 8 AM

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Esperanza,

        With it being on top of his head, the teeth certainly seem less likely. That swelling is usually under the eye level.

        The history sounds like he is getting repeatedly exposed to something he is allergic to. Sounds almost like he is being repeatedly stung by something.

        The lump remaining being hard sounds like there could be a tumor developing, or a foreign body that has become encysted there. You might need a biopsy to tell.

        I’m sorry that I can’t give you much helpful information.

  13. Dana says:

    My dog threw up last night and this morning she got sick again. She isn’t eating today or drinking. She has a swollen place above her eye on the left side and in that ear is real red. Under her mouth is real red too. Any idea what the cause may be. She is going to the vet today. I’m very concerned.

  14. Doc says:

    Hello, Dana,

    I hope the vet visit went well. This sounds like possibly some type of allergic reaction.

    Definitely not something that I can help you with much “long distance”.

    Good luck.

  15. Dana says:

    We took Trixie to the vet. They think she got into something. They gave her a shot to stop the vomiting. They gave her two antibiotic pills and some pill that disolves in water to coat her stomach. She has a special canned bland food. She finally ate some today. She appears to be feeling some better although she still had a little swelling above her eye and and still red inside her one ear. She didn’t want to eat her food with the antibiotics mixed in. It took a lot of coaxing and she ate at least half of it. Hoping tomorrow she will have more energy back now that she’s eating and keeping it down.

  16. Doc says:

    Hello, Dana,

    Sorry to be so late replying, been out of town and catching up.

    I hope Trixie is all better now. Be sure to give your veterinarian plenty of feedback as to how things are going.

  17. Doc says:

    Hello, Joyce,

    Thanks for reading and writing, but I cannot prescribe medicine doses for patients I have not seen. Not legal.

    You need to call your regular veterinarian.

  18. Janice Kubik says:

    My 1 1/2 yr old Sheltie threw up last Sunday then refused to eat anything afterwards. As the day went on she became restless and experienced facial swelling. Took her to the ER Vet and had a shot of steroid and Benadryl then gave 25 mg Benadryl orally the next day. Dog was good all week but today , threw up again once but continued eating later but then became very restless again and was rubbing and scratching her face. Thought we saw some slight swelling beginning so back to the ER again. She received another steroid shot and we gave her a Benadryl tablet at home. She seems to have settled down a bit now and ate more food. Do you ever encounter allergic reactions that need to be retreated or a situation where the dog should have stayed on Benadryl longer than a day to clear it all out if the system? We are seeing our vet next week but I got to wondering if its possible for flare ups to occur. At this point we have not yet determined the exact cause. We thought it was pork after Sundays episode but she hasn’t had any today. Thanks for reading.

  19. Doc says:

    Hello, Janice,

    It is possible both for the allergic reaction to be persistent, and to have continuing or recurring exposure to the allergen. Sometimes it is difficult to determine which is the case.

    Benadryl is virtually free of side-effects, other than drowsiness, so I wouldn’t have any problems with using it as needed.

    I would definitely try to keep some sort of journal for the next week or so. That way if there is a recurrence, you will have a record of the day’s activities, and food intake. Maybe you can draw a connection between insect exposure, certain foods, trips to a certain park, etc.

  20. Taylor says:

    My poor labs nose swelled up and around his left eye, has little almond shaped swelling spots all over his body, he hasn’t threw up or shown any lack in play or activeness, help!!!

  21. Doc says:

    Hello, Taylor,

    This sounds like an allergic reaction, possibly to a bug-bite. These sometimes respond well to Benadryl, and usually resolve on their own.

    If more severe or persistent problems are noted, you need to see your veterinarian.

  22. Husky unhappy says:

    For over a week now my dog has had facial swelling, right snout, left snout, right cheek, left neck, back to right snout. We have been to two vets, used Benadryl. Used prednisone still have the swelling. We have had our house sprayed for bugs twice last month. I need help!!! Feeling helpless what can I do?!?!?

  23. Doc says:

    Hello, Husky,

    After a week of prednisone and benadryl, and no response, I would suspect a different reason for the swelling than an allergic reaction (though they can be persistent).

    It’s time to have your veterinarian re-evaluate this. I would be worried about a possible lymph node problem that isn’t letting the normal fluid drainage from the face take place.

    If your veterinarian doesn’t hear from you, he thinks things are going well. Communicate.

  24. danielle says:

    My puppys eye swelled first then an hr later other eye swelled gave her benadryl. Eyes went away. Next morning her cheeks lips and chin was swollen. More benadryl. It calmed down a little. She threw up once. She is still playful. Also her vagina is swelled and keeps licking it she is 7 months

  25. Doc says:

    Hello, Danielle,

    It sounds like your puppy is having repeated exposure to something she is allergic to. It could a plant in the yard, or insect bites.

    It is okay to repeat the benadryl, but if this keeps up I would recommend that you see your veterinarian.

    Seven months is pretty young for the first heat cycle, but it is possible that the swollen female parts are related to her first heat cycle.

  26. Christy says:

    I have a 10 mth old Black lab. I noticed after I let him try a clementine about a 1/2 hr later both his cheeks swelled up. I gave him 2 1/2 tsp of Benadryl( he weighs about 75 lbs). It has come down a little . How long should this reaction last? He isn’t having any breathing problems but his eyes look a bit irritated but they are always red they just look droopy is the only way I can explain it. My vet is not open again till Wed. should I take him to the Vet ER?

  27. Doc says:

    Hello, Christy,

    As long as there is no breathing problem, this is probably not urgent.

    I don’t know how long it will last. Very unusual to see that sort of reaction to food. Usually we see that more with an insect sting.

    You can dose the Benadryl at about 1mg per pound. I’m guessing you’re way under that with the liquid.

    It’s pretty safe, just makes you sleepy if you give too much.

    If he shows signs of respiratory distress, then he definitely needs to go to the ER.

  28. Melinda says:

    My Basset Hound, Bailey is recovering from Parvovirus. The last active day of the virus was 6 days ago and we just finished up with Amoxicillin that was prescribed to her today and stopped using the anti nausea medicine 3 days ago, and finished panacur 3 days ago as well. She has put a lot of her weight back on already a and resumed her regular active personality, however today I noticed the left side of her face was swollen, not whelks, just swollen like someone with a black eye. Now her lips on the right side are swollen too. Don’t see any puncture marks, or obvious insect bites. She keeps walking around rubbing her face on the furniture, but doesn’t seem to be in pain if I touch it. I know she shouldn’t be experiencing an allergic reaction at this points to the meds that she is no longer taking, but does it sound like an allergic action to you? My lil boy is 6 and plays out in the yard and is a typical rowdy boy, is it possible he could of caused some type of trauma to cause the swelling? It seems facial swelling is really common in Basset Hound just from my google search, but no one has actually commented back with their findings once the issue has been resolved. Any ideas would be appreciated!!

  29. stephanie says:

    i have a dachshund/bagel mix and she is aboout 9 months old she woke up this morning with a swollen lip the left side it doesent seem to bother her she is eating playing and sleeping like always but i am verry concerned about his i called a vet (mine was closed due to mothersday) and they told me benedryl would take care of it but its not it actually looks a little worse than it did this morning what do i do i dont have the money to take her to the vet at this moment please help

  30. doc says:

    Hello, Stephanie,

    If it is due to an insect sting, it should resolve in a day, even without the benadryl (and the benadryl is pretty safe, though I wouldn’t give enormous amounts).

    Other possibilities include something like a foreign body (splinter), or an infected wound.

    With an injury that has just occurred, we often use cold compresses (a cloth soaked in ice water – NOT ice on the skin). With persistent swelling, sometimes heat is better. I run a pan of water as warm as I can stand to keep my hand in it, and use a cloth to apply moist heat.

    Since your dog acts like she is feeling okay, we can hope this is not serious.

    There just isn’t any way for us to really diagnose or prescribe treatment without actually seeing and touching your dog.

  31. Caleb Qualls says:

    last night our shar pei of one yr came I/ with the right side of the snout swollen ee put a cool compress on it n it went down slightly this morning it was still swollen barely noticeable my son came in after football n noticed the swelling moved to the opposite side what could this b from..also have a 7month old shar pei n she didnt show any signs like the yr old was thinking they’re food but wouldnt both dogs show signs?

  32. doc says:

    Hello, Caleb,

    If these are going down quickly, and the dog isn’t in distress, my first thought would be insect bites.

    If this continues, I would definitely seek the advice of your veterinarian to be sure nothing more serious is going on.

  33. Diana Rei says:

    My lab threw up twice this am then again around midnight. I then noticed around 3 am here face was swollen. My husband took her to the vet er. I haven’t noticed anything unusually she could have gotten into but there was grass in her vomit.

  34. doc says:

    Hello, Diana,

    I am sure that the ER veterinarian has checked for any serious diseases.

    In cases like this, I usually give the dog a thorough check-out. If I don’t find anything in particular, my best guess is that it’s some kind of insect sting. They usually recover rapidly.

  35. Rodney W Kirkendall says:

    Dog sitting our sons 4 mo old lab, noticed her upper checks and eyes swollen, didn’t notice any bite marks or wounds on gums or face. Gave her a benadryl – after about a hour later vomiting of grass then twice more liquid .watching her seems normal now swelling has gone done some – any ideas? No problems with breathing at this time.

  36. doc says:

    Hello, Rodney,

    Sure sounds like an allergic reaction of some kind. Top of the list would be insect bites.

    If not rapidly back to normal, you need to see your veterinarian.

  37. Deejay says:

    My dog was playing under the house today and has come inside with the left side of her face all swollen which now ha progressed to having a small dangling lump under her jaw as I didn’t have Benadryl the vet told me to give her phenergan but it hasn’t seemed to work at all

  38. doc says:

    Hello, Deejay,

    A dangling lump is not typical of an allergic reaction, though I guess it could be one.

    If this is not resolving quickly, then I would take her to the veterinarian. It is possible that there has been a spider bite, or a penetrating foreign object.

  39. Courtney says:

    My dog had a swollen eye with bumps on top of her nose, and around her nose seemed to be swollen. I gave her Benadryl and it helped her swelling. However, after about 6 hours the swelling came back and was worse. Her swelling had gone into her upper lips and the bumps around her nose continued. I gave her more Benadryl (this was about 7 hours after first dose) and the bumps have gone away but her lips are still quite swollen. I’m not sure if this is the cause, but we gave her a beef hide bone on Tuesday (2 days ago). She ate some then, but then had more last night. We didn’t notice anything wrong before bed which was quite some time after eating the bone. It wasn’t until this morning I noticed anything. Because the Benadryl isn’t helping all of the swelling, should I be concerned? Our vet was full today, but I talked to the doctor and she said to continue with Benadryl for a few days. At that point I didn’t know her second dose wasn’t working well.

  40. Doc says:

    Hello, Courtney,

    The Benadryl is only going to last a few hours, so even if it is the appropriate medicine, you may have to repeat it with a persistent allergic reaction.

    If this is not resolving, then your instinct is correct: she does need to be examined by her doctor. You could have some type of skin infection, rather than just a temporary allergic reaction.

    The beef hide bone would be an unusual source for this type of reaction. Insect stings are far more common in this situation.

    If she is feeling well, then you should be okay to continue the Benadryl. Again, if it is not well in another day or so, you should see your veterinarian. If she gets worse, don’t wait.

  41. Tina Marino says:

    Hi – what a great service you do for pet owners!

    Our 16 week old dachshund all of a sudden has much swelling around the jowls (symetrical) and she has what could be hives (little tiny bumps over the top of her head). We have NO clue what she could’ve gotten into; we’ve researched every plant we have and none are poisonous. But, she does eat EVERYTHING – paper, carpets, shoes, patio cushions and even June bugs, the little pain in the rear!

    We dosed her with 15mg childrens’ liquid benadryl (she weighs about 13#). Some swelling has gone down, but not completely.

    She is eating and drinking normally; is sleeping alot now, from the benadryl I presume.

    Thanks for your input! Tina

  42. Doc says:

    Hello, Tina,

    That dose of benadryl should be fine. It could be something she ate. I tend to suspect insect stings first, though, at least in the summer time.

    Benadryl is pretty safe, with drowsiness being the most common side-effect.

    If the swelling does not resolve, she might need some form of systemic cortisone. Call your veterinarian if the symptoms persist.

  43. Courtney says:


    Our lab came in from our yard about 2:30 today eating grass like crazy. He was acting strange but we figured he had just eaten something that didn’t settle well. We just woke up (12 hours later) and his snout is swollen and his nose is a little dry. We realize now he probably got bit earlier by something. There are no obvious snake bite wounds or stingers. I used to work at a vets office, and I know if I take him to the Emergency Vet, they will more than likely examine him, suspect insect bite and give him a Benadryl shot and charge us so much! He is having no problems breathing, eating, drinking, or playing. Would you guess insect bite? We have given him 25 mg of Benadryl, even though I know he could take 50 mg no problem, to see if it helps the swelling. I am concerned about the dry nose, could an allergic reaction cause that as well?

    Thank you so much for helping all of us with our pup problems! You have no idea how much your previous answers helped us with our pooch! We appreciate it so very much!

  44. JeNelle says:

    Five weeks ago our dog had vaccinations including a rabbies shot in June. Three days ago we realized the left side of her face and her ears were completely swollen. Unfortunately, we did not go to the vet or give her benedryl. The swelling appears to have gone down, however, she has been vomiting off and on for three nights. We are out of town camping and wonder if we need to head home.

  45. doc says:

    Hello, Courtney,

    The dry nose just means that he isn’t perspiring at the moment. It is really not significant.

    If the swelling has not resolved with time or benadryl, then the dog might need some type of systemic cortisone treatment. These can also be infected and require antibiotics.

    Insect stings are the usual cause, though we do see snake-bites, as well (at least in my area).

    If the problem is longer term, then it needs to be looked at by your veterinarian.

  46. doc says:

    Hello, JeNelle,

    I sincerely doubt that a vaccination several weeks ago has any relationship to the present problem.

    Out camping, I would be suspicious of insect stings or possibly a snake bite.

    It’s good that the swelling has gone down.

    If she cannot keep down her food or water, then she needs to be seen by her veterinarian. In an unusual environment, she may have eaten something to cause her to have problems.

  47. Natalie says:

    My ten year old labs face is swollen just below his eye on the right hand side. I gave him benadryl yesterday and the swelling was completely gone by bedtime. Woke up today and his eye is swollen again. He has been rolling around in the grass a lot lately. He is eating and drinking normally and it does not seem to hurt him when I touch it. Is this an allergic reaction do you think?

  48. doc says:

    Hello, Natalie,

    It is possible that this is an allergic reaction, but it seems odd that it would recur in the same place two days in a row.

    It is possible that there is a tiny foreign object embedded there.

    I am also concerned about the possibility of an abscessed tooth. That would be the most common area for a swelling to pop up. It (the swelling)can also come and go. Sometimes the dog’s discomfort is not obvious.

    I recall a patient with both left and right side upper cheek teeth abscessed and draining from the cheek area under the eye.

    After the abscessed teeth were extracted, the dog’s whole personality changed. She quit being grumpy and biting people. Constant pain had been relieved. Prior to the dental procedure, the owners were unaware that the dog was in pain.

    If this continues, you really need to get your buddy to the veterinarian.

  49. Chass says:

    My black lab Coalie has a swollen jaw and bottom lip. The vet says it may be an abcess in her gum due to something that poked her? She has been on antibiotics for 24 hours + tramadol and benedryl. It seems the swelling was a bit more today:( Should I wait a few more days to let the medicine take affect?

  50. doc says:

    Hello, Chass,

    If the swelling continues to enlarge, there may actually be a foreign object broken off in there. It can be some very tiny bit of plant material, something very hard to find.

    If it continues to enlarge, it will likely need to be lanced (surgically opened), drained of pus, and flushed out. If this happens, there is a good chance that whatever it is will exit with the junk.

    If it continues to enlarge tomorrow, then the medicine isn’t very likely to take care of it without some further assistance.

  51. Nathan says:

    Please help asap…my 14 week German shepherd started yesterday with an extremely swollen eye and puking yellow that after awhile turned to foam…now this morning both eyes swollen and her right ear is so swollen. She can’t hold her head up straight…can barely open her mouth

  52. Doc says:

    Hello, Nathan,
    Yellow fluid is what you see when you vomit on an empty stomach. Bile is coming up along with the fluid. Foam is a mixture of stomach fluid and swallowed air.

    Usually allergic reactions would be suspected with the swelling, but they don’t usually cause vomiting.

    This is not something I can treat long distance. The dog needs to be seen by your veterinarian.

  53. Phillip says:

    I have an 11 year old bulldog. her lower jaw from he ear down and mid jaw back is swollen, happened fast. its warm and she likes when I caress it an scratch it. Shes eating and drinking(more, she doesn’t drink alot of water)no whimpering or noticeable pain.

  54. Doc says:

    Hello, Phillip,
    This sounds like a lymph node is swollen, causing fluid accumulation. This is usually due to an infection, but could even be a tumor in a dog this age. I would definitely recommend that you see your veterinarian.

  55. Branwyn says:

    I have a year and a half old pit bull/hound mix with a orange sized mass on the jowl of his left side. I believe he was bitten by a rattlesnake as they are prevalent here and at one time or another, all of our dogs have been bitten once. Each time, the bites were on the face area, swelled for a few days, then slowly went away. We live up in the remote mountains and are quite a ways away from the nearest doctor or vet. What worries me, is the swelling has been there for over a month. It went down only slightly 2 weeks after recieving the bite, then just recently has swelled back up to the original size, but does not seem to be affecting him pain wise, nor is it bothering his eye on that side. The mass under his skin is hard, not liquid like. As far as I can tell he was only bitten once, but I am concerned and wondering why it has never gone down like the others. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

  56. Sally says:

    Dear Doc,
    At lunch I noticed my 14week old lab has a swelling on the right hand side of his face it isn’t very swollen and he doesn’t mind if I touch it. He continued to play with our other pup and is now sleeping… Resting on that side of his face. If I am able to see in his mouth and it turns out to be an abscess what is the normal vetinary procedure? Don’t worry I’m not planning on sorting it out myself just wondering how long to allow for a visit to the vets.

  57. Doc says:

    Hello, Branwyn,

    We don’t see rattlesnakes in my area, and this doesn’t seem to be going along with your previous rattlesnake experience.

    I would be concerned about an abscess, or a possible foreign object penetration.

    If it were an older dog, I would be concerned about a tumor. If the dog were in front of me, we’d start by doing a fine-needle aspiration to suck out some of the cells and examine under a microscope.

    I understand that your remote location makes a visit to the veterinarian difficult, but I really can’t give you much helpful advice on this.

  58. Doc says:

    Hello, Sally,
    The usual procedure is to use a small needle to withdraw some cells for examination. If you get pus in this process, then the abscess is lanced (possibly under sedation) and flushed out to remove the pus. Then we usually send the kid home with antibiotics, and instructions to use a warm compress on the area three times daily.
    This is the sort of thing that is awfully hard to diagnose long-distance. A trip to the veterinarian is in order (unless he spits out a big was of food that was in his cheek).

  59. Crystal says:

    I have a dachshund/beagle mix and I woke up this AM and her entire face was swollen as well as both ears. I gave her Benadryl and the swelling around her eyes seems to have gone away. Her cheeks and under her chin are still swollen, as well as her ears ( maybe slightly less with the ears) and she keeps shaking her head. I gave her another Benadryl this afternoon, maybe an hour ago. I’m assuming it’s some sort of reaction to who knows what kind of insect/spider, but is her shaking her head a lot and swollen ears of any significance?

  60. Doc says:

    Hello, Crystal,

    It is safe to repeat the Benadryl. Usually the worst side-effect is getting sleepy.

    If this doesn’t get better pretty quickly (like by tomorrow), I’d take her to the veterinarian. Sometimes it takes some systemic cortisone type drugs to get these to calm down.

    If you see any difficulty in breathing, don’t wait until tomorrow.

  61. Kara says:

    Hello, I have a chihuahuha that suddenly developed a swollen left cheek under the eye. I gave him some benedryl and used an ice pack and it went down a little…a few days later it swelled right back up. He is about 12 years old. Could this maybe more likely be a dental issue? I currently started a treatment of antibiotics for him yesterday.

  62. Doc says:

    Hello, Kara,

    That does indeed sound more like a dental issue. In that location, an abscessed carnassial tooth (4th upper premolar tooth) can certainly break out under the eye.

    This usually requires tooth extraction. Ideally, one X-rays the teeth to be sure which one needs extraction. Unfortunately, that needs to be done under anesthesia. Putting a dental film in a dog’s mouth and asking them to hold still…
    I would start with a visit to your veterinarian to evaluate the swelling. It could be other things.

  63. Tracy Ortiz says:

    My dog has sudden swelling in the last two days on the right side of his jaw under the ear. He is a 9.5 year old lab/pit mix. His name is Teddy and is my best friend so I am worried sick for him as he has never been ill. Teddy is mostly kept indoors and sleeps with me and likes watching t.v. He loves walking and playing at parks. I have just moved from Texas and have been driving for the last 5 days to Washington state letting him out to do his business along the way. Actually as I type this I remember this happened once before 3 months ago. It (the swelling) went away in a day or two. I can’t remember which side was swollen though. Anyway I took him to a vet today and reported to her Teddy’s decreased activity level, eating and drinking normally. I do notice increased drooling. He normally only drools when he sees me eating food but is know just drooling. Also his face, eyes look tired and like he is in pain.The lump is hard not fluid-like. He doesn’t react to me touching it. I tried opening his mouth to inspect and he let out a loud whimper. He is sleeping a lot more. The vet took his temperature and noted it was normal so no fever. She did a needle aspirate and it is Friday so she said by Monday she will have results. She did not pull any pus or really anything that I noticed maybe just some dust particles that she placed on a slide. I think it is good that she did not draw pus right? For the most part he has never been sick. Could this have something to do with his age, teeth, lymph node, infection, allergy, insect bite, snake bite? I’m so worried can’t wait for Monday. At very least I hope this helps others with similar issues with their fur babies. Please advise. I don’t have much money and just paid $280.
    Sorry she did send Teddy home with some Novax 100 mgs 5 days and Baylnl 136 mg 7 days.

  64. doc says:

    Hello, Tracy,
    If the lump is a firm, solid mass, then I would be concerned about a tumor. When you put a needle into a solid mass and aspirate, you frequently get only a very small amount of tissue in the needle.

    If she had drawn out liquid pus, then it would be a much simpler situation to drain the abscess and treat.

    Snake bites are usually down by the nose, and the swelling is pretty diffuse (at least the snakes that we see in my area).

    If Teddy doesn’t respond to the medication he is on, the next step is to see what the cytology exam shows and go from there.

  65. Florine says:

    My boy duke face is just got swollen on his right side and his eye right eye is really red, there was no drooling till now and there was blood in it. He’s breathing normally and is still very active.

  66. Doc says:

    Hello, Florine,

    The blood in his saliva makes me think this is probably a tooth problem. I suspect there is an abscessed tooth that needs to be extracted.

    Time for your boy to see his veterinarian.

  67. Christine says:

    Hi. I have a 3 yr old decker rat terrier named Po. About two days ago he vomitted. Later that night i noticed bumps on his forehead. I thought they were bug bites. Just hours ago, i noticed a breakout of hives on his head and snout area. I gave a 25 mg dose of benedryl as he is abou 30 lbs and it definitely seemed to help with the swelling for now. Also i gave him a bath 2 nights ago using a new shampoo for him (johnsons babyshampoo). Even though i stop him from continual licking, he always tries to lick while getting bathed and he got a few good licks this bath. I assumed this was the reason to his upset tummy and thought nothing of it when he puked. Im mystified by what caused this and if the hives dont subside by today, i will take him to the vet. Could the shampoo have caused this reaction, and can it last over two days? Side note he is playing and eating normally. Also on his yearly set of vaccinations a few months back, the site of the vaccines were swollen and took a week to go down. Please help doc

  68. Doc says:

    Hello, Christine,

    I suppose that a dog could be allergic to soap, but usually I would not expect anything more than a little drooling from licking the shampoo.

    As a side note, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is not a great dog shampoo. It really dries their skin.

    It sounds like your dog is pretty sensitive. I’m guessing that the little bumps WERE bug-bites, then he has some allergic reaction that led to the hives.

    This would go along with the swelling he had in response to his vaccination site. When I have a patient with that sort of situation, I usually give them a benadryl injection 10 minutes or so before the vaccine is given.

    I would think it more likely that the new outbreak of hives was bug-related, rather than shampoo-related.

    Talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate dose of antihistamine to give when you see these problems.

  69. Christine says:

    Thank you doc. Ive contined him on benedryl which his body seems to respond very well to. While he still had a hive outbreak this past night, it was less severe than the previous so I’m hopeful thats a good sign.

    I just have to add what a great service you are providing to people. You really care and thats amazing. Thank you again doc

  70. jesse says:

    Hi, I have a 2 yrs old blue heeler named static 14.3 KGS yesterday wen I got home from work his face was swollen… I took him to the vet and they said it could be an absist, from maybe a grass seed? They gave him an atibiotic injection and said his temp was a little high… they gave me some more tablets and said to go back today for an op!!!! To get the gunk a maybe grass seed or whatever caused it out.. but over night he has thrown up about 3 times.. and seeing that and remembering about a week ago he threw up..I didn’t really think much of it as he was still very energetic ect… now this??? Any help would be appreciated.. thankyou

  71. Doc says:

    Hello, Jesse,

    Some type of foreign object under the skin can certainly cause an abscess (a pocket of pus). The body doesn’t like the splinter or whatever it is, and tries to destroy it.

    Pus is the build-up of damaged cells, infection-fighting cells, and tissue fluid. There would also be bacteria (germs) because the splinter would not be sterile.

    It does not seem likely that the vomiting is directly related to this.

    Opening the abscess is not usually a major operation. An incision is made, and the abscess is flushed to remove pus. We would hope that the foreign object would be removed at the same time. The object can be very tiny, and difficult to see.

    With the pus drained, the antibiotics have an easier job controlling infection in the damaged tissue.

  72. Ashleigh says:

    Hi, I have a dog with a swollen face just under one eye and I think it is because he ran into a rock yesterday but he didn’t yelp or anything so I didn’t think that would have hurt him but this morning his face is quite swollen. Will the swelling go down on its own? Or should he been seen by a vet? He doesn’t appear to be in any pain

  73. doc says:

    Hello, Ashleigh,

    If it is just bruising, then it will go down on its own. It can help to apply a cold compress (not ice) to the area for 10 minutes or so three times daily for the first 24 hours.

    If the swelling does not go down within 48 hours, I would want to check the dog.

    Certainly if it is getting worse, or the dog starts feeling bad, I wouldn’t wait 48 hours to see your veterinarian.

  74. Kylah Seiberg says:

    Hello. My pup is like 6 months old.. hes pit and shepard mix.. we have a regular basis where he goes out side. (With no leash) he doesn’t go anywhere.. i put my 3 year old son into bed at 10. He was last out at 8:30-9.. I got ready for bed and at 4:30 I had woken up to us the restroom and his face was swolllen! Like his eyes and upper lips.. no marks.. i used a cold wash cloth. I dont have any benadryl so i used ibuprofen. He pooped everwhere in my bedroom.. hes house trained so he hasnt pooped in the house for 2 months. . He isnt allergic to bees he eats them all the time.. ive tried to get him to stop… he always sleeps at the foot of my bed.. & its winter..snowing.. i have no clue what the cause of it is.. it appears to be itchy and he keeps sneezing or heavy exhaling…? Any suggestions.?

  75. Doc says:

    Hello, Kylah,

    First suggestion is: don’t give ibuprofen. There are reports of dogs suffering a bleeding ulcer after a single dose. No Aleve, either.

    This does sound like an allergic reaction, and antihistamines may help. If severe, he may need to see your veterinarian for a cortisone injection.

    Last week it was 18 degrees here for a bad cold snap. I found a wasp in my kitchen. He was sluggish, but he was there. I wouldn’t rule out some type of insect sting, even though it seems unlikely due to the season.

    You can develop allergic reactions to something over time, even if it didn’t bother you before.

    If he doesn’t improve rapidly, he needs to see his veterinarian.

  76. Ashley says:

    Hi. About 2 weeks ago, we noticed our 4 year old Vizsla seemed to be having some pain on right side of face. We took him to our vet, who lightly sedated him and examined his mouth and throat for dental issues, foreign objects, etc. At that time nothing was found. A few days later, we began noticing facial swelling above his right eye and down the bridge of his nose. We took him to an emergency vet, where they again sedated him and took X-rays of his head and mouth, again finding nothing. They prescribed tramadol and prednisone, which helped reduce the swelling for a couple of days. Again, a few days later we noticed the swelling returning above his right eye after he was chewing on a bone. She swelling seems to be induced by chewing/eating. We took him to a critical care vet who aspirated the swollen area and found infection. He was again sedated and the abscess was opened and cleaned out, abd he was given antibiotics for us to administer for 10+ days. This procedure was done 7 days ago. The area is much better than before, however still appears to be slightly swollen. Is this typical? When should we expect the swelling to subside? Or is the infection possibly still there? While they had him sedated, they again checked his mouth, etc to try to find the source of infection, but still couldn’t find anything. Any additional thoughts on what could be causing the swelling/ infection?

  77. doc says:

    Hello, Ashley,
    There could be a penetrating foreign object in the area. These can be quite small and terribly difficult to find. Typically they do not show up on X-rays. You might see one on an MRI (for about a thousand bucks).

    I would also be concerned about a bad tooth, still yet. A good dental X-ray is a lot different than just X-raying the skull.

    I would ask for referral to a dental specialist before I would look for an MRI.

    It is possible that the last surgical drainage has also removed the source of the infection if it was a foreign body. Still being slightly swollen at this point doesn’t bother me since the dog is feeling much better.

    If the swelling recurs, I would definitely look for a dental specialist as my next step.

  78. Doc says:

    Hello, Leah,

    The human benadryl is fine, but I cannot recommend a dose without seeing your dog. You would need to contact the veterinarian who sees your dog.

  79. Lisa Willett says:

    Hi there. My 1 year old cocker spaniel all of a sudden had a small lump appear on the right dose of her nose she seems to be in a fair amount of pain from it as she does not let is touch it at all to further examine it. Your thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanks

  80. Doc says:

    Hello, Lisa,
    My psychic powers are not what I’d like them to be, so it’s pretty hard to make a diagnosis without seeing your dog.

    I would be concerned about some type of infection. Sometimes they get a little splinter or something and it gets infected.

    Dogs that age also commonly get a benign tumor called a histiocytoma. These can get very inflamed and be quite uncomfortable.

    If this doesn’t go away on its own in just a few days, then I would take her to see your veterinarian.

  81. Rachel says:

    My 2 year old Boston Terriors right side of his face underneath of his eye started swelling on Monday morning, he had no signs of sensitivity or pain, he was eating, drinking, and playing like normal. On Tuesday there was a noticeable lump between his right eye and snout. We took him to the vet Wednesday morning and recieved steroids for a possible allergic reaction. His face has slowly swelled larger and larger. We let the vet know Friday morning that his swelling has gotten worse and where the lump is has become sensitive. It is Sunday morning and his face has extremly swelled and the skin under his eye looks bruised and under that there is a cut where it looks like his skin might be splitting. The vet told us on Friday to continue with Benadryl and the steroids that they prescribed him and to bring him in Monday. There are no signs of him having trouble breathing, no sensitivity in his mouth, his tongue is not swollen, he is still playing, eating and drinking like normal. But has limited vision because his face has swelled so large. Is there anything I can do to bring the swelling down? Or confort him? I have tremadol but my vet is not open and I’m not sure he can take it with the steroids. Do you have any kind of idea what could be wrong with him? I have an appointment tomorrow morning for him at the vet.

    Thank you,

  82. Doc says:

    Hello, Rachel,

    Sorry I didn’t see this yesterday. By now your veterinarian has already seen your dog, and I hope he is on his way to recovery.

    I would be concerned about a bad tooth, or possibly a foreign body that has penetrated the area and is causing an abscess.

    I’d love to hear what happened.

  83. Maree says:

    I have a 10yo Maltese X Shitzu and his face has swelled up around his eye, lip and jaw. He’s eating and drinking normally and still running around. He doesn’t seem to be in pain when I examined the swelling and was happy to let me touch it. Just wondering what you think this may be, if it is an allergy or something very serious. Thank you.

  84. Doc says:

    Hello, Maree,

    I am glad that your dog doesn’t seem to be in pain. Swelling in that area could be an abscessed tooth. In a dog of his age, there could also be a tumor developing.

    Allergic reactions to an insect sting should be very temporary.

    This is something that should be checked by your veterinarian unless it goes away on its own in a day or two.

    If it doesn’t go away or reoccurs, it should certainly be seen by your dog’s doctor.

  85. Cath says:

    Hello, we noticed some swelling on the face of my 2 year Old daschund two days ago, swelling of the snout and jowls and then we also started to notice Little red patches on her belly and her genitals are also swollen and red. The day before this happened I had rubbed coconut oil under her underarms as she has some elephant skin there, and it was the next day that I noticed these allergic reactions. (I should also mention that she had some vaccinations a week and a half ago). It seem to be getting a little bit better and then we were out in the backyard and we gave her a bone and as she was chewing the bone it made the swelling on her jowls what much worse. We gave her a quarter of a chlortripon on and this helped quite a bit, but then the swelling came back again after the Chlor wore off so we gave her another one and it just has been doing that for the past two days it it won’t go away it keeps coming back after the anti-histamine wears off.

    We are very worried and not sure what’s going on. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  86. Doc says:

    Hello, Cath,
    This could anything from a persistent allergic reaction to abscessed teeth. You really need to take her to your veterinarian.

  87. Toni says:


    My 8 year old Chihuahua is an inside dog and tonight she walked into the family room with badly swollen lips/cheeks. I noticed this happened after she’d been licking her paws repeatedly the previous hour. What also won’t help is that we’re scraping off a popcorn ceiling and the dust still covers the floor she walks through. I’m worried because popcorn ceilings are known to carry asbestos and we have an old house. She licked her paws and an hour later her lips/cheeks are swollen. I fed her half a benedryl inside of a piece of meat and then again with s small piece of hot dog. She threw back up both pieces an hour later, both still fully formed. Like she hadn’t digested it. It was pink due to the benedryl but I’m also worried it’s not in her system anymore. It’s been 2 hours and her cheeks are still swollen, the vet is closed until the morning. Please help!

  88. Doc says:

    Hello, Toni,

    I hope your dog feels better this morning. I really cannot offer you meaningful specific advice without seeing her.

    It is possible that the debris from your remodeling is physically irritating, but unlikely to be toxic or cancer-causing. It would certainly be good to keep her out of the debris.

    In a situation like you describe I would wash the feet with cool water, rinse the mouth. I would just poke the benadryl down if I were doing this, rather than trying to feed it in food.

    Facial swelling is not generally dangerous, though it is uncomfortable. We would be more worried if we had swelling in other parts of the body that affected her ability to swallow or breathe.

  89. Jessica says:

    My 3 month old lab/chow mix was stung by a bee 2 days ago. We took him tight to the vet and they got out the stinger. Said he needed to take Benadryl. So I have given him 3 total since then. He didn’t have any today but he had diarrhea with a little mucous. He was also on albon and panacur 2 days before the sting occurred. Just wondering if the diarrhea could be because of the Benadryl or the dewormers. He is still acting like a perfectly normal puppy. Thank you

  90. Doc says:

    Hello, Jessica,

    I would not expect diarrhea to be caused by the Benadryl or the medications, though anything is possible, I suppose.

    You should tell your veterinarian about the diarrhea. Albon is often prescribed for a parasite called coccidia. The parasite causes diarrhea. Panacur is prescribed for hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, and sometimes for giardia. These can also cause diarrhea.

    Tell your veterinarian what is occurring.

  91. Lindsay says:

    Hi there!!! I have a German Shorthair Pointer who will be 14 weeks on Thursday. Yesterday between 10:30-11:00 am I noticed some small bumps on her head and face. She also was shaking her head and pawing at ears which started swelling at the tips. I asked some friends and did all the basic checks. No apparent bite or stinger and gave her Benedryl (12.5mg at 11:30, another 12.5mg at 2 and then a third round at 10). Woke up this morning and appeared a little better and she was due to have 3rd round of vaccines. Went in and saw vet who said no vaccines today with immune system down. Told her of yesterday’s symptoms and she checked inside ears and all over paws, body and mouth for stinger. All of a sudden she flared up with what looked like hives in ears and on face and head. Decided to give her a benedryl injection before we left and said to give her 2 more doses at 25mg today and to continue her on benedryl for next 3 days 2x a day. Said next course would be a steroid but with pups like her they prefer for that to be a last measure. Came home and have her an oatmeal bath. I haven’t changed her food or done anything different. Can’t figure out what she’d be reacting to. The injection knocked her out for 4 hours but the 2nd dose I gave her in pill for seemed to just rile her up. The crazy thing is that through it all she’s acting normal, same level of energy, eating and drinking as usual and pee (aside from an increased need to go from benedryl) and poop is regular. Still seems to have flare ups with head shaking and face scratching. Any ideas/advice? Thank you!!!

  92. Doc says:

    Hello, Lindsay,

    This certainly sounds like an allergic reaction of some kind. Despite finding no stingers, some type of insect sting would be the top of my list.

    The hives usually go away within hours, but can be very persistent, lasting days.

    The fact that your pup feels good is a very good thing. It is unlikely that the reaction will get worse and affect her breathing

    Stay in touch with your veterinarian and let her know how things are progressing. She is the best person to advise you.

  93. Breanna says:

    Hi. I have an Australian shepherd, 2 days ago he was bitten by a snake right under his nose. Not sure what kind it was but within 15 minutes his face was swollen and he was having to breathe from his mouth. We immediately took him to the vet who administered anti-venom (for a copperhead, they’re the most common in our area) and some kind of steroid shot. Also we had given him a 25mg benedryl before any swelling occured. As soon as we got home that night his swelling was recessing and as of yesterday all of his swelling is down and you can’t even tell where he was bitten. I’m just wondering if there is anything else I should be watching for? Everyone has been telling me he should’ve been started on antibiotics because he could have an absessed spot where he was bitten and this could lead to facial deteriation. Just wondering if you had any advice about this? Anything would help! Thank you!

  94. Doc says:

    Hello, Breanna,

    Any bite-wound puncture can become infected. Animal mouths (and people mouths, and snakes, too) have lots of bacteria in them. When you have a puncture that is deeper than it is wide, you can’t really wash it out.

    Usually the body’s defenses take care of the bacteria here, but sometimes the bacteria get ahead of them, and an abscess does develop.

    I used to see a lot of these, and treated them with a cortisone injection and a shot of benzathine penicillin. That was supposed to last three days, but now the pharmacologists say we were kidding ourselves on that. So, essentially, the dog got a 12 to 24 hour dose of penicillin. Which is about nothing if you really have an infection.

    I’ve never seen one of these facial snake-bites abscess, but they could.

    Keep an eye on the spot for swelling. If it’s going to abscess, it would usually show up by 3 days after the bite.

    Let your veterinarian know if it doesn’t look good.

  95. Terri Thornburg says:

    Please help, my vet is stumped. I have a 11 year old chihuahua, the love of my life, who stopped eating today. I noticed her standing by the water dish but not drinking. I saw a slight swelling in one cheek so went to open her mouth to look and she cried out in pain and ran and hid. My first thought was bad teeth, but the vet says no. He treated her for infection even though she had no fever. A couple hour later she had swelling over her nose, in the stop, and swelling in the neck and above the eye. He then thought allergic reaction and treated her for that. Later this evening the swelling in the neck was gone but the place above the eye was larger and her eye was watering with a film or puss coming out of it. She had a small lump on her side a ouple months earlier that is growing quite large now. Vet said not to worry, but I am. This dog has had many problems over the years, ( open pyo twice before the age of 3- got her fixed, eye abbsesses – had the tooth removed, Has sugar problems and gets shots twice a day and she is also on Vetoryl for cushings. She is in pain. She will not eat or drink. Can you think of anything else that could cause this? Just want to have the right questions when I go to the vet again. She is not getting better, she is getting worse.

  96. Doc says:

    Hello, Terri,

    It is really not possible for me to second-guess your veterinarian on a case I haven’t seen. The first thing I think of with a dog who has swelling and pain on opening the mouth is a retro-bulbar abscess (an abscess behind the eyeball). Opening the mouth puts a lot of pressure on this, and is quite painful. It sounds like you have already had a similar episode in the past, so I’m sure your doctor has thought of this.

    I would consider dental X-rays under anesthesia, as well as probing for a retro-bulbar abscess. You may need a C-T scan.

    I’m afraid I can’t offer you much help long-distance.

  97. Debbie says:

    Hello- thank you for all of your great feedback. We have a pit I’ll mix and had gone hiking last Sunday with him. The next day he was just not himself so we just looked out for him. Seemed like his leg hurt or ear, we weren’t sure but he kind of limped and also winced when we pet his ears. Next day his whole side of his head was massively swollen. He went to the vet and the gave him 2 injections of antibiotics for ind
    Fiction. Kept getting worse so he went again yesterday (his breathing is raspy and his throat is now swollen) they sedated him and tried to aspirate his saliva glad but there was no fluid. They keep saying its that but nothing is working and he’s miserable and won’t eat. He’s on several antibiotics but nothing is working. Hoping to hear another opinion please. Thank you.

  98. Doc says:

    Hello, Debbie,

    I wish that I could give you better advice, but since I cannot even see your dog, I can hardly second-guess the doctors who are.

    Other things to consider would be to check a complete blood count,as that can help document that it is infection, versus something like a tumor or allergic reaction.

    Fine needle aspiration (taking a small needle and sucking some cells out) and looking at the cells under a microscope can help.

    If this is an infected lymph node, sometimes you don’t get relief at first with antibiotics. Then the thing becomes an abscess ( a pocket of pus). If it starts feeling like it is softer, with fluid in it, you need to get him back to your veterinarian to have it lanced, drained, and flushed out.

    He may also need something for pain and inflammation. Please do NOT give over the counter NSAID medicines, such as Aleve or Ibuprofen, as dogs can develop severe bleeding ulcers with these medicines.

    Be sure to give your veterinarian continuing feedback so that they know how your dog is responding (or not responding). If they don’t hear from you, they think things are going okay.

  99. Erich bennett says:

    Both my Jack russells were outside and came in with swollen eyes and a little vomiting. I gave them both a benadryl and cleaned their eyes with saline solution. Any ideas?

  100. Mark says:


    Please can someone help. I have a 6 year old bullmastiff who has swelling of the jaw. A huge lump has appeared, i have taken him to my local vet but they dont know what is wrong.
    He is eating and playing normally but this lump/swelling has been there for now a month and shows no sign of decreasing. Its a hard solid mass that looks and feels attached to his jaw.

    Can someone please help me i have no idea what to do?

  101. Doc says:

    Hello, Erich,

    My first idea is toad toxicity. This often causes temporary drooling, nausea, allergic reaction. Not generally dangerous in the continental United States.

    If you have continuing problems you should certainly consult with your regular veterinarian.

  102. Doc says:

    Hello, Mark,

    This could be a dentigerous cyst, a tumor, an infection, several different possibilities.

    Dental/oral X-rays may help. If it is not too firm to penetrate with a needle, sometimes one can suck a few cells out and stain them for examination under the microscope.

    I would start with the X-rays, and if no diagnosis is possible, then the step is a biopsy, removing a small amount of tissue for the pathologist to examine under the microscope.

    There’s no way to tell what is going on here from a “long-distance” perspective.

  103. Debbie says:

    Hello again-
    Thanks for the feedback. We’ve had blood tests and his white count is slightly high but really no indication of infection. They did a thick needle aspiration because it was too thick to do with fine and an ultrasound which shows it being solid. He is on antibiotics, anti inflammatory and pain meds but he’s not improving and possibly getting worse. All swelling and pain started on one side and is still worse on one side (his left) and now his left paw is swollen too. Not the whole arm, more the paw. Poor guy is miserable, hard to eat and breathe with his muzzle swollen so badly. Dr said tests really didn’t indicate much. Still puzzled. Could he have eaten a spider or something causing allergic reaction? They are hesitant to give steroid if it’s infection but nothing seems to be working and tests so far haven’t helped figure it out. Is there a test or specialist we should see or do?

    Thanks again,

  104. Debbie says:

    Sorr, but to add- it all happened suddenly. He was fine when we went hiking and the next day he was hurting and the huge lump and swelling showed up later the next day.

  105. Doc says:

    Hello, Debbie,

    When I get a case this difficult I usually do consult with an internist. It sounds like you may need a biopsy, but this takes several days to get results.

    I’m sorry that I cannot give you more specific help.

  106. Kassandra Lopez says:

    Hello this happened to my dog yesterday. His face was swollen and luckily it didn’t get to his windpipe. I just wanted to ask a question. The swelling went down today in the morning and his eyes looked fine but his nose is still swollen. Could this be a snakebite and would i still need to take him to a vet because my family does not have the money for a vet bill right now.

  107. Doc says:

    Hello, Kassandra,

    It could certainly be a snakebite. Even when the swelling from the venom goes down, it is possible to get an infection from the bite punctures, just as you might from a cat-bite, for instance. If the swelling all goes away, you should be fine.

    Sometimes the infection takes a few days to swell up, so keep checking for several days. If the swelling gets worse, you really need to take your dog to the veterinarian.

  108. Elle says:

    Hi, my 7 year old heeler started not eating about a week ago and 3 days later woke up with a sightly swollen face that was extremely swollen 2 hours later when we got to the vet. She pretty much flipped out at the vet (an old country farm vet)so a really good mouth exam was not possible. He gave her a shot of antibiotics and steriods and sent us home with 500 mg Chepalexin 2x/day. The swelling went away within a day, but she still will not eat much. She doesn’t seem to have a problem chewing, she crunches on biscuits and long lasting treats fine and will eat small meat scraps that I give her like parts of the steak or salmon skin that I don’t eat. I have always given them a couple of bites of my meal. I noticed a slightly runny eye before the swelling on the opposite side of the worst swelling,and she still has that runny eye. She still has a ton of energy at walk time but seems a little lethargic other times. I am just concerned about her not eating. Would the antibiotics make her not eat and slightly lethargic? Thank you for your input!

  109. Doc says:

    Hello, Elle,

    The antibiotic does not usually have that effect, but some people cannot take even an aspirin, and it is possible that the cephalexin is upsetting the stomach.

    I would be more concerned that you are dealing with a painful tooth situation.

  110. albert says:

    My dog had a fight with a snake yesterday. Its face and neck started swollen and looks sick, no energy to walk but keep lying. But I can’t find any bitten sign. But today, it can walk but still not as lively as before. Do my dog in danger?

  111. Doc says:

    Hello, Albert,

    You should contact a veterinarian in your area. I can only speak for the snakes in my own geographic area.

    Any puncture wound, snake-bite, dog-bite, cat-bite, can become infected. This can require antibiotic treatment.

    If the swelling is going down, then there may be no long-term effects from the venom.

    If your dog is not doing well, he should see a veterinarian.

  112. Glae says:

    Just found your site – awesome! My boxer just woke up with swelling under his eye.

    I would like to know how long you recommend I can wait before I take him to the vet.

    I work at a Humane Society, and everyone here thinks it’s a beesting, but my boxer’s mom was put down 2 weeks ago and they put here down because (well, she had cancer) but the final decision was made because her eye started swelling and the doc said it would eventually break her bones.

    My boxer is a healthy 7 year old (his mom was 10) except for a huge fatty tumor on his foreleg.

    How long should I responsibly wait?

  113. Doc says:

    Hello, Glae,

    If it is a bee-sting, I would expect the swelling to pretty much be gone in 24 hours. If the swelling persists for 2 days, or the dog begins to show discomfort, then I would get him to the veterinarian for an exam.

  114. Karie Glenn says:

    My dachshund face swelled up and i am co erned cor her. I had viven her a 1/4 of a 25mg pill of bladder contol medicine. Alrhough it was a chewable, she didnt want it so i put it in some deviled egg potato salad. Within. 30 minutes her face swelled. How can i safely determine what she is really allergic to the salad or the meds

  115. Doc says:

    Hello, Karie,

    You should consult your regular veterinarian about this, and give her neither one until you do so.

    They can advise you about how to deal with allergic reactions.

    I would strongly suspect it is the egg, rather than the medicine, but you will probably have to try one, then the other.

    Do not do this until you consult your regular veterinarian.

  116. sherry says:

    I have read most of the questions and answers on here,so thanks for some info, my daughter saw that our dogs face(left side by her eye) was swollen well I gave her a benedryl(generic) dose that make a difference? well I didn’t know I could give her one more then once a day( I do now) so that could be why the swollen hasn’t went all the way down I think it has some she is black so hard to see I would say it’s the size of a large grape,she is a dashound/jack russell mix and about 6 yrs old, she is action eating,drinking and playing normal, so do you have any suggestion I don’t really have the money to take her to vet, (a lot of thing happened at the moment money wise) but I will if it don’t go down, she had a knuckle bone about a week or 2 ago do you thing some of it got in her gums or something and we just didn’t notice because we don’t get up in her face and again she is a black dog hard to see, my daughter saw it because she was in the bed laying on my daughter. I feel so bad I didn’t notice it sooner, it’s not to cold or warm here right now(Indiana) but we do get field mice this time of year. please help thanks.

  117. Doc says:

    Hello, Sherry,
    The way you describe the swelling, it makes me concerned mostly about an abscessed tooth, or possibly some type of foreign object causing an abscess.

    Sometimes you get a little sliver of something that penetrates the lip and starts an infection that needs to be drained.

    If it is a tooth, then extraction of the tooth is the best treatment.

    If it is not a tooth, applying warm compresses to the area may help bring the infection to a head so that it will break and drain.

    For a warm compress, I run a pan of water as warm as I can stand to keep my hand in it. Then I wring out a small towel and use that to apply heat for 10 to 15 minutes 3 times daily.

  118. Morgan says:

    My 12 week old puppy has had diarrhea for 4 days now. It’s been mucousy at some points. Also, he got his 12 week shots the next day. Today, his face swelled up real bad with hives I assume. He’s acting normal though. Could this be an allergic reaction? He also had a few fleas and was given vectra Friday to fight this. He’s also very itchy, especially around his rear. Could the fleas have transmitted something?

  119. Doc says:

    Hello, Morgan,

    The most common cause of diarrhea in young puppies is a parasite problem.

    Even if the puppy has been dewormed previously, a stool specimen should be checked. There is no one worm medication that kills all the different types of parasites.

    Protozoa (microscopic one-celled animals, like “Montezuma’s revenge”) are often difficult to identify. Puppies with persistent diarrhea after de-worming may benefit from treatment for coccidia or giardia.

    You could certainly be having an allergic reaction to something. Usually vaccine reactions occur within hours and don’t last long. If it were the Vectra, I would expect it to be more of an all-over thing, instead of facial.

    I doubt that the fleas have transmitted some disease, though out west they can transmit Bubonic plague.

  120. matt says:

    Hi, my 6.y.o male English Staffordshire terrier all of a sudden started having sneazing fits, about 4 sneazes at a time in 5 or 10 minute intervals which stopped after an hour, we noticed his right lip and eye were swollen too and what xiuld be a bite mark inside his lip,. His breathing and heart rate seem normal but he isn’t acting his usual self. Could this be from a spider bite? We have alot of Redbacks in our area

  121. Doc says:

    Hello, Matt,
    This is possible, but I really can’t give you much help here. If the condition persists you should see your veterinarian.

  122. Sammy says:

    My dog is nearly 13. He’s a Labrador. He had a tumour taken out of his eye gland last year but I didn’t let the vet take his eye. Since then he’s had no problems but today the area under his eye has swollen up. He won’t let me touch it so I think it’s hurting him. Do you think the tumour could have grown back?

  123. Michele S says:

    We came in from out of town last night, picked up our yorkies at my in laws who kept them for 6 days. Our little male yorkie appeared to not be feeling good. His eyes were red, his muzzle appears to be a little swollen to me, he won’t let you touch it. My question is I had a surgical procedure on Jan 8 in which I got a staph infection, the dr immediately put me on antibiotics but mine got pretty bad. The dogs snuggled with me during this time, can it be he contracted staph from me?

  124. Doc says:

    Hello, Sammy,

    It is certainly possible that the tumor has grown back. Swelling in this area could also be related to a bad tooth, some other type of tumor, or some other type of infection. I recently removed what I thought was a tumor, but proved to be a reaction to a foreign object deeply embedded in the tissue.

    You need to see your veterinarian.

  125. Doc says:

    Hello, Michele,
    Everybody carries these bacteria on their skin, and dogs have their own population of bacteria. Most of the time they cause no problem unless there is a break in the skin.
    Your dog needs attention from your veterinarian, regardless of the reason for his problem. I doubt that snuggling with you is the underlying cause.

  126. Mairi says:

    I live in the UK (Scotland). My 9 year old Parson Russell terrier came in from the garden yesterday looking depressed and shaking. About half an hour later I noticed swelling on her nose and lip (mostly her left side). I suspected a bee or wasp sting, because she has had many before – she just won’t leave them alone! I gave her half a 10mg Cetirizine tablet (as my vet has advised me to do in previous times when the practice is shut). I expected her to be all better today, like normal, but she was sleeping in my daughter’s room and I didn’t see her until lunchtime today, when I noticed the swelling was actually a bit worse and her nose is running. Of course, the vet is closed now (Saturday afternoon) :(. I gave her 3mg of Chlorpheniramine half an hour ago (which he also said is okay to use), but it is still swollen. She seems not too bad in herself and is still eating. Not shaking any more. No vomiting. Do I need to phone the vet for an emergency appointment or can I wait and see if she improves? Thank you so much for your help! p.s. She weighs 7.5kg (around 16lbs).

  127. Doc says:

    Hello, Mairi,
    If there is no respiratory distress, then it may be okay to wait it out. It should be safe to repeat one of the antihistamines, but I would not combine them.

  128. Kristina keith says:

    We have a 11 week old chocolate lab/Shepherd mix. And his left cheek has swollen out of no where. It’s tender to the touch. And I can tell it’s hurting him. Could this be something to do with his terth

  129. Doc says:

    Hello, Kristina,

    It could be, but that would be very unusual in such a young dog. I would be more concerned about possibly a foreign object, or an infection of some type.

  130. Doc says:

    Hello, Cindy,
    I would be concerned about straining (as with diarrhea or constipation). Also, you can have problems with the anal sacs being infected, even rupturing.

    I would recommend that you see your veterinarian.

  131. Jennifer says:

    Wanted to first say thank you very much for providing this assistance! So insightful.
    Noticed facial swelling in my 11 yr. old lab. It is in both cheeks, around the eyes and has little bumps on the forehead. He has not thrown up or had other symptoms. I gave him Benadryl 2 hours ago and have not seen a change in his face. Should I have concern this is not an allergic reaction and take him to be seen right away or give him another dose of benadryl in so many hours? Thank you!

  132. Doc says:

    Hello, Jennifer,
    It certainly sounds like an allergic reaction, and I hope things have resolved by now. If not, you should certainly see your veterinarian. It is okay to repeat the Benadryl every 6 hours.

    I don’t get a chance to work my messages every day. Sorry I wasn’t able to answer in a more timely fashion.

  133. Elizabeth says:

    Hello. My dog has had facial swelling twice this week. Once on Monday. It was only swollen on the right side (eye,cheek,muzzle). The vet have him a steroid injection and it got better. Today is now Wednesday and his left eye was swollen this morning. We went back to the vet and got another steroid shot this morning. It has been 10 hours with an extra steroid dose and his eye is still swollen. Please help.

  134. Doc says:

    Hello, Elizabeth,

    With it responding to steroids at first, you would think this was an allergic reaction of some type. I wouldn’t expect a tooth problem to respond to steroids, nor to shift from one side to the other.

    Insect stings are what come to my mind. Do you have bee or wasps in the neighborhood?

  135. Janice says:

    Hi doc. I’m glad to see this forum gets comments still. Last night I noticed my dog, an adult mini pincher mix, had a swelling on her right cheek under her eye and above gum line the size of a marble maybe. She seemed to act normally. I tried to feel with my finger on her gum to see if it’s pus. The lump didn’t move around too much and was a little hard. This morning the size increased and has expanded a little more toward mandible. No noticeable bad breath. No noticeable excessive drooling. It’s warm to the touch when I intraorally examine it. She doesn’t like when I touch it. She seems to be eating and acting fine. I feel like a major thing for me was that it got bigger and spread over night… Trauma to the area? Infection? Your thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated in advanced. I hope I’m being descriptive enough for you to help us.

  136. Doc says:

    Hello, Janice,
    The rapid increase in size suggests an infection of some type. While it could be some kind of penetrating foreign body (splinter, for instance), or a spider bite, in that location I would be more suspicious of an abscess in the carnassial tooth (fourth premolar, #108). This usually requires extraction of the tooth, if that is the problem.

    Your veterinarian can give you a better idea of what is needed when the dog is examined.

  137. Lauren says:

    Hello doc. Our 7 year old pit has a swollen face. I came home Tuesday night and I noticed it. My husband had been lying on the couch but otherwise was with him all day. So, it was rather sudden. We assumed it was a bug bite or sting and gave him a benedryl (now knowing we didn’t give him enough). It got a little worse after that. The next morning it was noticeably worse. Tried the benedryl and nothing. He drinks water and ate all his dinner. Seemed to go down a bit before we went to bed and when we woke up it was definitely less swollen. He has no lack of energy and does not seem to be in any pain. No vomiting or diarrhea.

    I must include that him and our other male dog (Champ the one with the swollen face just moved in about a month ago). got into it and he got a small puncture wound on that side of his face. We did clean it out. Also, about 6 months ago he got a strep? infection in his leg and it became swollen. But with this he didn’t eat and was noticeably different. He does have blood blisters on his belly and vets think he might have some sort of cancer. This is what’s worrying me since he seems normal and the swelling doesn’t feel hot or to be causing him any pain.

  138. Doc says:

    Hello, Lauren,

    I would definitely want to have his mouth and teeth checked if this isn’t going down.

    Swollen lymph nodes in the neck can do this, which can be from an infection (or worst case scenario lymph node tumors).

    If it goes down with the benadryl, it is safe to repeat it for a day or two.

  139. lalinda bltzell says:

    I have rare pure bread chihuahua long hair he is an epileptic almost 10 yes old he popped up with swelling on the left side of his face he was with out his mess for a few days then put back on was wondering if it could be from some kind of bite or by some kind of bite or reaction to his meds

  140. Doc says:

    Hello, Lalinda,

    It is unlikely to be a reaction to his medicines, just being on one side. I would be concerned about some sort of sting or bite, a possible foreign object (like a splinter), or a bad tooth. If it doesn’t go away quickly, I would take him to see your veterinarian.

  141. jack says:

    my small15 yr old 10# dog has had facial infections in past several times. Im assuming from either lympnod or tooth infection. he has not ate or drank each time for several days but has always came back healed up with full energy. these have been on same side last night I saw it developing on the other side now, so both sides of his face are swollen. His teeth are not in very good shape so am I correct in assuming its from the teeth? can this be fixed ? at his age im skeptical if doing a lot will give him a lot of life left or not.hes been a good healthy dog other than this issue which has been in last year.

  142. Doc says:

    Hello, Jack,

    Sometimes you cannot tell the cause of the swelling until you anesthetize the dog and probe and X-ray the area. That being said, teeth would be top of the list.

    Modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment make anesthesia much safer than it used to be.

    You’ve mentioned his age, as though it wouldn’t be worth fixing in the short time he has left. I can only say that if you ask someone with a toothache whether it’s worth getting it fixed, they will say yes.

  143. Alyssa says:

    Hi Doc. My 10 year old chocolate lab’s face suddenly became swollen on one side. She’s not in pain. She’s eating and drinking. I checked her teeth and gums and they look fine. The inside of her mouth is swollen. I pressed on the swollen area and she doesn’t appear to be in any pain. The swelling happened at 8:30pm. I gave her 25 mg of Benadryl. This morning she ate breakfast with no problem. Her face is still swollen, but looks like it’s going down a little, so I just gave her 25 mg of Benadryl at 9:30am. I’m worried about her. What do you think the problem is? Maybe a spider bite or bee/wasp sting?

  144. Doc says:

    Hello, Alyssa,
    Sorry to be so late in replying. IF the swelling is persistent, I would recommend a visit to your veterinarian. If it resolved overnight, then a bee sting is certainly plausible. The spider bites often get much worse, with dying tissue.

  145. Angie says:

    My 9 month old pit bull ate a piece of fish that my husband dropped while eating dinner. Within 30 minutes her eyes swelled and drooped with the whites of her eyes very red. She started pawing at her face and trying to clear her throat. She had not been outside and was fine prior to eating the fish. She has no bumps or irritations in her mouth. I’ve given her Benadryl and she’s resting. Do you think this is a food allergy?

  146. Doc says:

    Hello, Angie,

    This is not the typical things we see with food allergy, but it is certainly possible for a dog to have a hyper-sensitivity reaction to something the same way a person can.

    I would avoid feeding the dog fish in the future.

  147. Carli says:

    My 2 year old Australian shepherd got his vaccinations last Wednesday, and the next day had facial swelling. I took him into the vet where they gave him Benadryl and a cortisone shot. I told the vet that morning I had also switched his food to the light version, but it was still the same brand we always feed him Science Die. She said that would not cause this reaction and most likely due to shots. On Friday he had diarrhea. Yesterday (Sunday) I had fed him his dinner and 20 minutes later he threw up and I noticed his eye was red, droopy, and his cheek was swelling. I gave him some Benadryl and he seemed to be fine. He woke us up this morning shaking his head and pawing at his ear, and I found throw up. We took him outside and he ate grass, we gave him more Benadryl and pepto and about 15 minutes later he threw everything up. He seems to be fine now as he is asleep but I’m at a loss on what to do. Could these reactions be from his food or Maybe it was a bad bag of food?

  148. Angie says:

    Hi Doc, follow up on my 9 month old pit bull Marley. Took her to the vet as swelling had not gone completely down. They said she definitely had a severe allergic reaction to most likely the fish. She was given a prednisone injection along with a week supply of oral tabs of prednisone. Was told to continue Benadryl also. My concern is that now that the swelling has went down the right side of her face is drawn up. This seems odd to me for a healthy pup. She’s eating, drinking and going to potty like normal. I am also concerned about her not acting the same but am thinking this may be from the meds. She walks in circles while up but she has slept for days. Prior to this incident she was quite hyper. My husband is concerned that this has affected her neurologically due to her seeming out of sorts but when it comes to food or going to potty she’s responds well. Any insight would be appreciated.

  149. Doc says:

    Hello, Carli,
    It certainly wouldn’t hurt to get a new bag of food. I agree with your doctor that this is not the top of the list, though.

    It’s also the time of year when we see a lot of insect stings.. I wouldn’t expect that to cause the throwing up, but the other symptoms you describe make me think of that.

  150. Doc says:

    Hello, Angie,

    Some of this could definitely be the meds. Benadryl makes most patients sleepy (it is sold under another mane as a sleep aid). Prednisone can also affect behavior. Usually it pumps you up, but some individuals become moody.

    The facial situation is more troubling. You should certainly schedule a recheck appointment for her as she finishes her meds.

  151. Jerrid says:

    Hello Doc,

    Our 8 year old beagle Chuck was bit by either a bee or spider last Friday because his face swelled up in like 5 minutes. We gave him Benadryl and waited and he started to look better Saturday. We put him to bed in his Crate on Sat night and when we woke up Sunday his face was twice the size. So we took him to the vet and they treated him with steroids and told us to keep giving him Benadryl, so we did. We kept him out of his kennel and let him sleep in the living room Sunday night. Monday we did the same and he looked so much better, swelling almost gone. Back to normal almost. So we put him back sleeping in his kennel again last night and he woke up this morning with his face a little swollen again. We also noticed that his glands under his neck are a little swollen. When he sleeps in his crate he sleeps with our other beagle and wonder if he cant lay on his side if it is causing the glands to push the swelling into his face. How long does it usually take for swelling by an allergic reaction to go away?

  152. Doc says:

    Hello, Jerrid,
    I don’t think this is likely to be due to his sleeping position.
    Usually the swelling from an allergic reaction subsides within 24 hours, though have seen it take 2 or 3 days.
    If the lymph nodes are swollen, there may be an infectious component here. If the swollen “glands” persist, I would make another visit to your veterinarian.

  153. Michelle says:

    I’m looking for any help my 3.5 yr old chocolate lab had vaccinations 3 days ago on a Saturday at noon about 4 pm he had hives slight fever by midnight his hives were worse we took him to er vet. They gave him the antihistamines shot told us benadryl for the next 2 days every 8 hours. We did that last dose was last night at 8 pm. This morning he stopped eating all swelling and fever were gone. Now he has thrown up twice today. Any suggestions? I have another vet appointment tomorrow but I’m so worried about him.

  154. Doc says:

    Hello, Michelle,
    You can repeat the Benadryl if needed. The worst case scenario with vaccine reactions would be an allergic type reaction where the dog has trouble breathing. That would be an emergency. It isn’t good that he is still feeling bad, but it is very unlikely to be serious or life-threatening at this point. Do keep your appointment with your veterinarian. If things get worse before then, contact your emergency service.

  155. Arjun says:

    my dachshound , today was sneezing very much and later her mouth was suddenly all swollen and she started to smell quite bad what to do ?

  156. Doc says:

    Hello, Arjun,
    I would be concerned about tooth problems that have abscessed into the nasal passages. You need to get her to your veterinarian. This sort of thing cannot be diagnosed “over the phone”.

  157. Amanda says:

    My 9 year old healthy until this month, St. Bernard has a swollen face and I am unsure of this new vet I am seeing, we recently moved. 4 weeks ago the left side of her face was swollen, eye shut, with yellow eye secretions. Drops and a visit to the Animal Eye Clinic found nothing of concern. Last week her nose was swollen, started prednisone and benadryl. Today the right side of her face is ++ swollen and eye shut and her whole head is mildly swollen. Dog is refusing to open her mouth, shy’s away when you try. Still eating and drinking. Today taken off the prednisone, given a shot of dexamethasone, giving cephalexin and benadryl. This vet seems very unsure of what is going on. The diagnosis is allergic reaction. If the current course of medication doesn’t work they want to do anaesthetic and exploratory surgery. I am very frustrated. At what point do I seek a second opinion. I find it is a guessing game that is costing me a lot of money and not giving me any answers. Is this usual to not know with swelling? I always felt I should be able to trust my vet.

  158. Doc says:

    Hello, Amanda,
    It’s rather difficult to say what is going on here. My first instinct with recurring facial swelling that is more on one side would be to take dental x-rays to rule out tooth abscesses. There is also a condition of inflammation of the big head muscles that close the jaw.

    You could even have a foreign object in the area creating the problem.

    I understand your difficulty when you do not yet have enough experience with your doctor to have confidence. Unfortunately, when a case is not straightforward, even the best doctor may have to look at more than one thing before finding the correct answer.

  159. Chris Penn says:

    Recently my dog has had sudden swelling on her R cheek. It looks like she tucked a golf ball in there. A few hrs later its down to almost nothing. Today is the 3rd time for this. Our vet doesn’t know what it is & I’m trying to find ideas of what causes it. It’s not painful at all for her. It’s not dental or a bite of any kind either. It feels like a full water balloon, solid but not hard at all.I’m clueless.

  160. Doc says:

    Hello, Chris,
    Problems that come and go like this are very challenging. I would not expect dental to come and go rapidly like this. There are weird things like sialoliths – stones that are in the salivary gland that move out into the duct and stop it up. It wouldn’t seem likely that you would be passing several of those. They usually get to a place and stick.

    Without seeing it while it is swollen, I’d be hard pressed to give you a diagnosis,as would anybody else, I’m afraid.

  161. Diane says:

    My 8 1/2 BC/LAB has recently developed a tumor like lump above his left shoulder blade. He is a Therapy dog so he is regularly checked all over. This is palm sized with no movement or soft spots and pressing on it causes no pain. Appetite and agility (jumps for trainees) have not changed. FNA or complete removal and biopsy suggested, worried about his age and surgery. Has not changed since first identified. Anything would be greatly appreciated, he is also a service dog and much loved.

  162. Doc says:

    Hello, Diane,
    FNA is fine needle aspiration. This means you stick a small needle into the lump and attempt to aspirate (suck up in the needle, using a syringe) some cells. These are then examined under the microscope. This is called a cytology exam.

    This requires no sedation and is virtually painless.

    This can sometimes give a diagnosis just from the cell types, as in the case of a lipoma (a benign tumor fat cells).

    There are also situations where you cannot make diagnosis just from the cell types. You need to see the architecture, the arrangement of the cells and their relationship to each other and other structures, such as blood vessels.

    If the FNA cytology is not diagnostic, then a biopsy to remove a small sliver of tissue can be done, often with a tranquilizer and local anesthetic. Sometimes a general anesthetic is needed, but the procedure would be very short, so the risk would be minimal.

    The results of the cytology or biopsy examination would let you have a better idea about what is needed in the way of surgical removal.

    I would definitely do the FNA cytology and see what that tells you.

  163. SJtR says:

    Ive been searching the internet because of this happening to my little girl. She is a redbone coon hound mix. We “think” maybe ridgeback… Rescue… She was fine all day and night. I let her out just before bed time… She came back in and could barely open her eyes because her face was so *puffy* and swollen looking. Her vet said she can have 2 benadryls for her weight to calm her down when a thunderstorm hits… so the first thing I thought was… rule out an allergy or infection, give her the proper dosage of benadryl… Its 5:30am now and basically just staying up with her sleeping at my feet until the vet opens this morning… Her windpipes appear to be ok, and gently touching the areas she doesnt seem to be in any immediate pain, just uncomfortable… Which still isnt ok for me… I did notice earlier today a few bees out back, so Im thinking, although late at night, might of been a bee that stung her… however, Im still taking her to the vet as soon as they open. They will accept her as an emergency…

    She just had her anal glands extracted by the vet a few days ago because they were pretty full, other then that, I cant think of anything else that might of caused this… As much as I hate to say it, I wont rule out cancer or anything else, and make sure she gets a full check up, even though I dont think it would hit her with those symptoms that quickly, which is why I still think it was a bee sting…

    She is 5 years old, she adopted me when she was 7 months… She is currently around 63lbs, slightly overweight but not bad… Good diet and exercise as well…

    For now, Im just letting her use my feet as a pillow to sleep on until the vet opens, then give them a call and take it from there…

    Sorry to say this, but it seems like all the on line pet webmd clinics for dogs just say “consult your vet” and not really much else, so I just try my best to research as much as I can and go with it… which is how I came across this site was a google search for this…

  164. Doc says:

    Hello, SJtR,
    The difficulty that you get into when you cannot see the pet is that you can really misinterpret what your client is trying to communicate. Many times an appointment is made for a pet and I find that something totally different was meant by the owner, or the owner was very mistaken as to what was bothering the pet. I really can’t fault people for not giving specific advice over the internet. In fact, I’m a little suspicious of the ones that do.
    I do agree that with such a sudden onset the top of the list would be an allergic reaction to an insect sting.
    These are rarely serious. As long as there is no difficulty in breathing, then it’s usually more a matter of discomfort than danger.
    Benadryl is really pretty safe, and the worst likely side-effect is drowsiness (it is sold under a different name as a sleep aid).

    By now you’ve already seen your veterinarian, and I hope things are resolved.

  165. Sandra A Havens says:

    Is it OK to give my dog benadryl every 5 hours for allergies. She at first sign had swollen jaws came home later to see her face swollen also. Started given her benadryl 75 MG because she weighs 76lb so I was told to give her 3 pills. Next day my friend was watching her while I was at work. She gave her a Quart pill of Sudafed pe. I noticed big hives all over her and very iterated. So I was told to make her through up. So I did and stared her back on benadryl. Hives are still on her back but is slowly disappearing on her belly. But now she started throwing up yellowish phlegm very little at a time but has me scared what do you think I should do. Iam on fixed income. And no money to pay a vet. And I have no family left. I stay to myself so no friends. Please help. She’s a mixed boxer. Weights 76lb.and is 7 yr old. No history of any medical conditions.

  166. Yesi says:

    My 1 year old and 5 month chichuahua had a swollen face and swollen paws. The day after the swolleness has gone down but has some type of blisters on his body. And now he has a swollen eye. And he still has a urge to be scratching himself. What can it be?

  167. Doc says:

    Hello, Sandra,

    Benadryl is the trade name for diphenydramine. This is an antihistamine that is safe for most dogs. The dose of 1mg per pound that you have been using is appropriate. Most dogs can tolerate it four times per day. It can certainly make you sleepy, and is sold under another name as a sleep aid.

    I would not give the Sudafed. It works in a very different manner.

    I don’t know that the Benadryl will help any with vomiting, but I wouldn’t expect it to make anything worse.

    We often recommend it for allergic reactions to insect stings.

  168. Doc says:

    Hello, Yesi,
    It sounds like your dog has had a bad allergic reaction to something. The blisters sound a little worse than usual, and the fact that his eye is still swollen is troubling. I would recommend that you see a veterinarian.

  169. jon says:

    hello doc, my Australian shepherd has a swollen forehead left side mostly, left eye is bleeding a bit and she is having a hard time eating hard food, yet her appetite has not changed much, meaning still interested in food. been to vet 4 times and still no answers, been like this for months. shes on fungal meds. any ideas

  170. Doc says:

    Hello, Jon,

    I think that your dog will probably need good X-rays, maybe a C-T scan. A biopsy may be needed. I would really be concerned about a tumor.

  171. Christina Esposito says:

    Hello! New pet owner here!

    I have a 10 month old chihuahua who had puffy eyes last night, I gave her a saline solution and the swelling went down but now this morning her snout is swollen and underneath her jaw is a little swollen. She kept itching at her paws and tail, I felt her hair and it was really dry so I gave her a bath. We recently had to put down her sister due to a dog fight which unfortunately cost a lot of money, so I’m trying not to go to the vet just yet. I’m about to give her Benadryl. I’m just wondering if it could just be allergies? Who knows, hopefully you could shed a little light on the situation before I make a final call on going to the vet.

  172. Doc says:

    Hello, Christina,
    It certainly does sound like it could be an allergic reaction. However, an infection with swollen lymph nodes could give you a similar situation.

    If this doesn’t resolve quickly, then you should really see your veterinarian.

  173. Sarah says:

    I have a 10 month old husky. About 2 months ago her eye swelled. I treated it with Benadryl assuming a bee sting or spider bite. Her face is now swelling again significantly worse than before. I have dosed her twice with Benadryl and the swelling keeps spreading. Advice???

  174. Doc says:

    Hello, Sarah,

    That type of swelling can be allergic in nature, in which case the Benadryl could help.

    You can also have swelling there due to a tooth problem, a foreign object penetration, other things.

    So, my advice is to get an exam from your veterinarian.

  175. Ashley says:

    Hi. I just got home and my dogs face was swollen. It’s causing no pain or discomfort but it’s a rather squishy spot up on the right side of his face. He’s not acting any differently. He did get into the carpet though, ripping up the carpet foam and the trash.

    Any advice?

  176. Doc says:

    Hello, Ashley,
    Sorry to be late in answering. This certainly sounds like some type of allergic reaction. This is the sort of thing that either gets better in a hurry, or needs to be seen by your veterinarian.

  177. Isabella Strausa says:

    Hello, my 13 yr old sheltie has a large growth on the side of his face and behind his ear. I’m terrified it might be a tumor. It appeared over night to the best of my knowledge (he is hairy) and does not react when touching it. It is very firm and he looks very swollen. We went to the vet and she said it might me a tumor or an infection. Please help.

  178. Doc says:

    Hello, Isabella,
    Ordinarily, when presented with a situation like this I would put a needle into the lump and see if I could withdraw fluid, or a sample of cells to look at under the microscope.

    This usually lets you tell the difference between infection and a tumor, though you can’t always tell what type of tumor it is with a small sample like that.

    Did your veterinarian talk about doing this? It is often called FNA (fine needle aspirate) cytology.

  179. Jon says:

    Hello. I’ve got a bloodhound that stays outside during the day and comes in at night. I let her in last night and she never ate. I noticed this morning that her right lip and muzzle was very swollen. She has no interest in food. She is drinking and it is painful to barely touch it. Ive tried to give her benadryl but she will not let me with out snapping. Which is very odd for her. Also noticed there is a small amount of blood in her drool.

  180. Doc says:

    Hello, Jon,
    I’d be concerned about a wound, possible foreign body (like a splinter), or a bad tooth.

    I’d recommend a visit to your veterinarian.

  181. Sara says:

    My son’s 4 month old aussie/heeler/border collie mix had swelling in her face yesterday. We gave her 2 doses of benadryl and the swelling has mostly resolved. This morning she has her head angled to the side just slightly and shakes her head more frequently than normal. This is following a 24 hr puking stint that resolved a few days ago. She doesn’t appear to be in any pain and is otherwise acting completely normal, aside from being a bit more sleepy. (I assume from the benadryl) She let’s me mess with her mouth, tongue, face, ears, neck…all with no discomfort although she does lean into my hands when I rub her ears like they are itchy. None of the other dogs show any symptoms so I am assuming she is having some kind of an allergic reaction. Clearly if the head tilt gets worse or she starts acting oddly my son will take her to the vet but I’m just looking for reassurance that we are doing everything ok and that it doesn’t seem to be urgent.

  182. Doc says:

    Hello, Sara,
    From your description, it doesn’t sound urgent, but if it fails to resolve in 24 hours, I would definitely take her to your veterinarian.

    If you haven’t done so, be sure to inspect her mouth to be sure nothing is lodged in there.

  183. Travis says:

    Hello my dog has swelling under his left eye in what I can only call his sinus area. The swelling comes and goes, is sometimes more obvious then others and seems to always go away on it’s own. The first time we noticed we took him to the vet, they assumed allergic reaction and had him get a shot. Shot did not work and it went away on its own, and comes and goes ever since. No pain for the dog, no tooth infection, no vomiting or anything. Only the visible swelling.

  184. Doc says:

    Hello, Travis,

    Two things come to mind. One would be to catch him when swollen and put a needle into it to try to recover some material for microscopic examination and possibly culture.

    The other thing is that the only way to know that a tooth is or isn’t the problem is with dental X-rays taken under anesthesia. You cannot tell by looking in the mouth.

    Unless the X-rays look great (and it can be difficult to visualize all 3 roots of those back two cheek teeth), teeth would still be the top of my list.

  185. Mycheal Blunt says:

    My year and a half year old husky has had a swollen face for about 3 days. We let him out Saturday morning and noticed that he was itching his face a little but didn’t think much of it when we got home 5 hours later his face was swollen up like a ballon and took him to the ER and they said they think it was some type of bite and gave him a IV and some medicine. Sunday we notice that his face is still a little swollen and we gave him some Benadryl and it went down and Monday we noticed that it’s still a little swollen also and gave him some more Benadryl and it worked. We took him to go see a vet again on Monday and he said that it might be a wasp sting but we don’t have any here and haven’t seen any ether. We have a bunch of ants around us. Today is now Tuesday and he is shaking his head a lot and likes his face to be itched. Our other dog got bit by an ant and the swelling came instantly and went away in about 12 hours. It has been almost 4 days and the swelling has gone down a bunch but it’s still there some what and I’m still concerned and wondering if I need to take him to another vet to get him checked out

  186. Doc says:

    Hello, Mycheal,

    If the swelling is persistent, then it should be re-examined. You want to be sure that there is no evidence of trauma, or a foreign body (like a splinter), which can be very easy to miss.

    If no wounds, but a persistent allergic-type reaction, some type of cortisone (like prednisone tablets) will possibly be more effective than antihistamines.

  187. Preeshita Biswas says:

    Hi my dog’s four years old and yesterday it developed a swollen left cheek.though he isn’t scratching it and he’s eating is normal to. Please help me.what should Ido

  188. Doc says:

    Hello, Preeshita,

    Sometimes this is something as simple as an insect sting, in which case it will soon get better on its own.

    It’s always a good idea to simply look inside the mouth to be sure there isn’t something lodged inside his cheek.

    If it is related to a tooth abscess, one frequently cannot see anything by simply looking inside the mouth. Dental X-rays are usually necessary to confirm.

    X-rays would also help to rule out a tumor.

    Your veterinarian can sometimes make a diagnosis by putting a needle into the swelling, removing some cells, and examining them under the microscope.

    If this doesn’t get better on its own, then a trip to the veterinarian is needed.

  189. Sue says:

    My 3 year old puggle has unexpectedly had swelling at the area of his lymohnodes. It s yard. He also had a fever of 105.6 I called the vet last might freaking out. He seems to be acting normal. She gave him a shot for fever and another for swelling. She also adperated the area and no pus came out. She took blood to test and also testing what little blood from the swelled area. There was nothing out of the ordinary,cexcept for a friend gave him a dog biscuit he had in Hus truck. I am scared. Any ideas what’s wrong?

  190. Doc says:

    Hello, Sue,
    With the fever, it certainly sounds like an infection has settled in the lymph nodes. Often it is difficult to know how this starts.

    Keep your veterinarian posted as to how things progress. Antibiotics may take the swelling down, but sometimes the node turns into an abscess, filled with pus, and it needs to be lanced.

  191. Haley Summerlin says:

    Hi my puppy is about 4 months old and we were laying down and her face was fine but then after five minutes it was suddenly puffy at her cheeks, top of nose and under her eyes. She had been outside for a good twenty minutes and I don’t think she was bitten by anything. So I went to eat before I laid down with her and a little piece of food fell in the floor and she ate it. Maybe it was a food allergy? I gave her some ice and she’s breathing and playing fine, and her throat isn’t swollen at all yet and it looks like the face swelling went down a little. Will she be okay?

  192. Doc says:

    Hello, Haley,
    With such a rapid onset of swelling, it sure sounds like an allergic reaction of some type. It is more common to see it with bug-bites than food (at least in dogs). If the swelling has already started to go down it will probably be fine. If it gets worse, or there is any trouble breathing then you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  193. William says:

    Hi Doc, thanks so much for your support on here. We have a 1 1/2 year old Great Dane that we rescued. Last night, literally within 5-10 minutes our dog lifted his head with a lump under his left eye. He’s still perfectly active and hasn’t been acting ill. When we woke up this morning, it was still there and just about the same size if not a tiny bit smaller. It doesn’t feel very fluid filled… not sure if this is an insect bite or a dental issue. Should we attempt the Benadryl or go to the vet to check his tooth.

  194. Doc says:

    Hello, William,
    If this doesn’t seem to bother him and isn’t enlarging, I’d give it a day or so. If it is bothering him, or starts to get bigger, then a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

  195. Jeremy says:

    Sounds like everyone has the same problem, yet I have not read a descent answer as to what the problem is?

  196. Doc says:

    Hello, Jeremy,

    The answer is that there are a lot of different potential causes.

    It takes a good exam from the veterinarian to sort it out sometimes.

  197. Rhonda England says:

    Our 12 month old lab woke up this morning with his eye swollen and jowl swollen and hanging on the right side of his face. He is acting all crazy normal as usual. When he first woke up his eye was swollen shut but after a several minutes, he could open it. He weighs about 73 lbs. I gave him 2 25mg tablets of benadryl. Should I give him more or just wait a few hours to see if swelling goes down or should I just take to vet.

  198. Doc says:

    Hello, Rhonda,
    I wasn’t able to look at the log yesterday. I would suppose that your dog is doing better by now. It sounds like he had an allergic reaction to an insect sting.

    Benadryl is pretty safe, and can be given to most dogs at a dose of 1 mg per pound of body weight. Usually the worst side-effect is being drowsy.

    If the swelling is persistent or worsens, you should definitely see your veterinarian.

  199. Briana Lopez says:

    My dog is about 2 and a half years old and she has swelling at the top of her nose and both sides of her mouth. I had let her outside for about an hour earlier today, before I let her outside she looked perfectly normal, no swelling at all. She came inside and about 5 to 6 hours later I noticed major swelling at the top of her nose and on both sides of her mouth. I am afraid that the swelling might have also affected her throat because she is having slight difficulty with breathing, its nothing too bad, she is able to breathe correctly and fully but I am not sure if the problem is with her nose being swollen or if her throat might also be swollen. When I first noticed the swelling, I had also noticed that she was gagging as if something was stuck in her throat or possibly in her mouth. I checked in her mouth and didn’t see anything stuck anywhere so I decided to give her some water to see if that could help wash it down. She did seem hesitant when she first started drinking the water, but after a couple of attempts she drank it smoothly. The gagging has stopped now that she had something to drink but the breathing is still a problem. She also attempted to eat a little but didn’t eat very much. I have also noticed she is tired and weak, she hasn’t slept yet today until right now, but I’m not sure if her being weak and tired is caused by the swelling or not. Currently she is snoring, which is not usual for her to do, but I am trying to adjust her head to keep her from snoring so that her nose or throat doesn’t get more irritated. I live in an area where snakes are not common at all, but beehives and wasp nests are, and there are constantly stray dogs roaming the neighborhood and sometimes they get into backyards. I have looked around the swollen area and I have not found any bite marks or scratches, nor is there any specific area that looked like it could have been stung. There is no puss or blood either. My dog is currently in heat if that helps at all, I’m not sure if it does or not.

  200. Doc says:

    Hello, Briana,
    Sorry that I’ve been tied up the last couple of days and gotten behind.

    I hope that by now your buddy is all better. Your description certainly sounds like an insect sting was likely. It is usually safe for most dogs to take benadryl under those circumstances.

    In a situation where you are concerned about trouble breathing, it would be best to contact your veterinarian, rather than relying on the internet.

    Best wishes.

  201. Brindle Dog Mom says:

    My 21 month old Dutch/German Shepherd mix has a history of inexplicable health issues, but has been quite healthy for several months. This past Saturday (3 days ago), I took both my dogs to an offleash park where she played and acted normally. On walk home she suddenly looked a little upset and started hanging back. We continued to walk and without warning she laid down on the sidewalk and curled up as if to sleep. She was not panting and seemed alert. I induced her up with treats and she continued to walk, but periodically tried to lay down again. I noticed she seemed to be squinting. Particularly in right eye. I ended up pushing her the rest of the way home in a shopping cart. Once home, she laid down, but was still alert and throughout evening was still very interested in food. The squinting became more pronounced. I gave her 25 mg of benadryl (she’s 53lbs but I’d never given it to her before so didn’t want to try 50 mg the first time). Her temp was 102. The next day she was slow to get up. She’s usually a very hyper active, nervous dog and she was clearly not feeling good. The 3rd eyelid was showing on both eyes, but more prominent on right. She ate her breakfast but was so lethargic I took her to the only open vet. Blood tests were pretty normal with just slightly elevated WBC. Vet didn’t find any painful points on the body or mouth. First temp was 103.6, but by end of visit (3 hours b/c we waited for test results) it was 102.7. Vet said to see how she does and give a benadryl that night. Sunday night she was getting much more lethargic. Her temp hovered around 103.2+/- She ate, but slowly and delicately. When I opened her mouth to give the benadryl, she yelped. I prodded her mouth all over inside and looked for signs of swollen tonsils and saw none (she has had tonsilitis twice for which she took antibiotics). Next day she could barely chew some well cooked lamb. She was clearly having difficulty chewing. She did not want to do anything but lay down. Took her to emergency vet. She has a fever (103.8) and her right eye was definitely more swollen. Emergency vet thought it was a retrobulbular abscess possibly from a migrated foxtail. I took her to our regular vet who agreed to do an exploratory procedure after hours to find the foxtail. However, they found no abscess, no foreign body and nothing in her mouth or throat. Just a very swollen eyeball. The vet said it seemed to be an allergic reaction. She spent night at vet. When I picked her up this morning, her eye was HUGE and looked terrible. Vet said it was probably irritated from procedure. He gave oral cephalexin and a antibiotic/corticosteroid topical ointment. Told me to give heer 2-3 days and if no improvement, take her to eye specialist. It is now more than 24 hours since the procedure and I would expect the swelling to have subsided, which it has not. And she is still very lethargic and obviously not feeling well. What’s more she seems to be a bit wobbly when walking. I’m very concerned. IF this is an allergic reaction, wouldn’t it have improved in 3 days, rather than gotten worse? And shouldn’t benadryl, even a 1/2 dose, helped? Her vet said benadryl doesn’t work well for dogs, but everything I’ve read indicates otherwise. What’s more, what could be causing the continued swelling and shouldn’t I be concerned about permanent damage? At this point I guess I’ll need to take her to a specialist, but I’m hoping you might have some experience or knowledge you might impart here.
    One last thing- she had been scratching alot the week leading up to this. It was noticeable to me and I knew it wasn’t fleas because she was treated with awful Nexguard a few weeks prior. No fleas or flea dirt (I checked numerous times), nor flaky or red skin. It seemed like an allergic reaction as it’s the same thing that happens when she eats beef. She has had similar problems with poultry so she is on a grain free lamb kibble and a raw lamb/veg diet.

  202. Doc says:

    Hello, BD Mom,

    My experience with Benadryl is that it does seem helpful with allergic reactions like bee-stings, but not so much with the allergic skin conditions (dermatologist tell us that 80% of allergic dogs do not benefit from antihistamines).

    I haven’t had any problems with Nexgard.

    Retrobulbar abscesses (abscess behind the eyeball) often resolve when you open an avenue for drainage by going up through the roof of the mouth, even when you don’t get much obvious pus drainage. However, it sounds like your dog is worse instead of better after what sounds like this type of procedure.

    It could still be an abscessed tooth. You don’t mention if there were dental X-rays performed.

    I am concerned that you have something wrong with the eye itself. The advice to see the eye specialist sounds like very good advice.

  203. Jade Brooks says:

    Hi. My german shepard/lab mix has had swelling around his nose on his snout and his eyes. I have given him benedryl and it goes away but as soon as the benedryl wears off the bumps come back! I dont know what he could have gotten into and he hasnt been exposed to anything out of the norm. My husband and I have given him the same food since he was a puppy and hes never had this reaction either. I dont know what to do about it,it happened suddenly after he went outside for a few hours, usually he is inside most of the day and is fine. After he came in my mom, husband, and I all checked all the areas that he could have been and there is no sign of anything being messed with. Any advice is welcomed.

  204. Doc says:

    Hello, Jade,

    I always wash the affected area, in case there is some residue still there.

    If the bumps keep coming back persistently, you may need to see your veterinarian. Sometimes we need to give a round of cortisone to get these calmed down.

  205. Berit Meyer says:

    Hi. Our 12 yr old lab cross was seen by a vet on Friday am, 8-18, for a swollen right side of face. The inner eye lid also has closed over his eyeball, and it’s very red, so he can’t see on that side. He has gotten a steroid shot, benedryl, Tramadol for pain, eye drops, and eye ointment. His appetite has diminished, and it’s gotten hard to give him his pills. He is sleeping now, but his drool has redness in it. He seems to be drinking water ok. I hope when he wakes up he will feel like some food. Concerned about the red drool. Also some swollen spots on one leg. Vet thinks an insect bite.

  206. Doc says:

    Hello, Berit,
    If he isn’t responding rapidly, be sure to get him back to your veterinarian quickly.

    The red drool makes me concerned that this is related to an abscessed tooth.

  207. Preet says:

    My dog had a sudden swelling rather a bloated lump on his forehead. The lump had some kind of movement or palpitation in it. My dog cried several times during the attack. It lasted for about 10 mins and then everything subsided.
    It has occurred twice in a week.
    Please help me

  208. Doc says:

    Hello, Preet.

    That sounds very strange. The only thing that occurs to me is some sort of insect sting, and an allergic type reaction. I might have a different idea if I could see or feel it.

    Sorry I cannot be of more help.

  209. Rita Massey says:

    Hello I just noticed that my 9 year olds pit bull mix has a swollen lump on his muzzle lip. It’s red I can see from where there’s no fur from the swelling. And very very hard to the touch. This came up very suddenly did not have it yesterday today he will not eat though other than a couple of treats. Something coming up this quickly would this be an abscess and also with it being so hard is this an abscess?

  210. Doc says:

    Hello, Rita,
    I would be more suspicious of an insect sting. If so, it should subside quickly.

    It certainly could be something infected (as from tiny foreign body, or an infected tiny bite puncture). You could get some nearly immediate swelling develop from the inflammation. An abscess is a pocket of pus (liquefied dead tissue, white blood cells, germs), and that would take longer to develop.

    If he does not rapidly improve, I would certainly recommend that you take him to see his veterinarian.

  211. Michele V says:

    My 3 year old Stratford lab terrier mix ate two child’s toys when we weren’t watching. A small book w flexible plastic pages and a squeaker inside. And part of a rubber lion head. There was an alectrical part (dead battery) but we found that and stopped him just in time. He threw up a few times (at least 4-5) over 24 hours and it looks like most of the rubber and plastic along w some food came out. That was 3 days ago. Over the last day and a half His lip on one of side of the face is swollen and pink/w a little dark blue on the inside. and under the jaw is a small dry spot(almost rash but still has hair) We worry it is an allergic reaction. Hes also been eating a lot of grass. He still likes to be played with and doesn’t act like he’s dying or anything but we still worry. Do you have any advice one what to do. vets are expensive (not that our baby’s not worth it.) but from what I can tell most people w even worst cases have gone to the vet and was just give a $200 bill and told to give em some Benedryll) does our reaction sound mild or does it sound like cause for concern???? Thankyou

  212. Doc says:

    Hello, Michele,

    This is one of those things that may be hard to tell about if I had the dog in front of me. It certainly is difficult without actually seeing the dog. What you describe reminds me of a reaction to some kind of venomous sting, like a spider bite. If he acts like he feels okay and is playing, eating, drinking, etc., then I wouldn’t be too worried.

    If the area continues to swell, or begins to ooze fluid, or he starts feeling bad, then I would certainly take him to your veterinarian. An allergic reaction wouldn’t get infected, and the swelling would usually subside in a day or two.

  213. Kelly says:

    My dog won’t stop itching her eyes. They are puffy, red and bumps on them. She also seemed hot last night and her eyes are really red.

  214. Doc says:

    I hope things are better now. Sounds like it could have been an allergic reaction. It’s good to keep a big bottle of artificial tears around so that you can rinse the eyes when something like this happens. If there is still something under the lids, you want to get rid of it.

  215. Telisa says:

    My outside dog (1year old) has severe facial swelling. We left the house for around 2-3 hours. She was fine before we left but when we got home her jaws and cheeks were quite swollen. Its been about 6 hours (since we arrived home) and I have been checking on her every 30 mins or so, the swelling has gotten worse as more time has gone by. We have given her 2 doses of benadryl so far and will continue to do so every 4-6 hours. We have been giving her water with a baby med dropper as well. She isnt her usual self at all. She hasnt eaten and usually shes a greedy pig as we have other dogs, laying about more than usual, rectal temp is 98.1, breathing is fine, some spasms (twitching and shaking) and bleeding from the mouth, not profusely but the blood does drip occasionally from her mouth. She wont let me look in her mouth as it is very very swollen and i imagine she is in a great deal of pain. We do live in Florida where there are a number of venomous snakes such as rattlesnakes, coral snakes (although I have only ever seen 2 personally in the 30 years i have lived here) and moccasins, but also have a great deal of bee boxes not too far from our house. We live way out in the country and she does venture into the woods often. Please advise on what you think may have done this. If you will email me I can go into greater detail and send pics. Thank you!

  216. Doc says:

    Hello, Telisa,

    Sorry that I’ve been covered up the last few days and just got to see this.

    I hope that you have been to see your veterinarian by now. This is certainly not the type of thing I could deal with from a remote viewpoint. This would definitely be a “hands on” case.

    I hope things have worked out well.

  217. Joanne Munro says:

    Hello~My 1 year old mini doxie (8 lbs) got her nose caughtin her cage and when trying to release it -she pulled on it quite forcefully. She now has teary eyes and her snout is swollen. We gave her a small dose of baby aspirin free pain reliever..Is there anything we should do? She keeps shaking her head and it seems to be bothering her. Thanks!

  218. Doc says:

    Hello, Joanne,

    Just saw this. I hope your baby is better already.

    I would have tried doing a cold compress on the area to slow the swelling. I fix a pan of ice water, and soak a cloth in it. As it warms up, I re-soak it.

    10 to 15 minutes is about right, up to 3 times per day.

    I am hoping you were using acetaminophen, rather than ibuprofen. A dog that size could take about 60mg. Ibuprofen is not considered safe for dogs.

  219. Jacque Gross says:

    6 month old border aussie lab mix, when i got out of the shower yesterday he had a swollen nose and it was pink and sore gave him some benadryl swelling went down but all night he was very itchy and restless. Today he is throwing up bile and is more restless than last night and more itchy , he is shaking his ears and nipping at his back legs and hind area, what’s wrong with him

  220. Doc says:

    Hello, Jacque,

    That certainly sounds like it could be some sort of allergic reaction. Benadryl is pretty safe.

    If the problem continues, you should see your veterinarian. I can’t really diagnose something like that “long distance”.

  221. Jacob says:

    hello my boxer mix 7 year old dog has had his face swollen for 2 days now i was going to take him in but he still eats like normal and drinks and plays normal almost as if nothing is wrong, today is Tuesday and we noticed it Monday morning when we woke up. He has never had this before so i was concerned but like i stated above he does not act any different. we have been giving him benadryl and it seems to go down somewhat but it will get bigger in between once the medicine wears off. any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you

  222. Doc says:

    Hello, Jacob,

    Unless he has something lodged in his mouth that is continuing the reaction, I’m not sure what to tell you. Even though the benadryl seems to help a little, he could still be having a tooth problem. I would go ahead and take him to your veterinarian.

  223. cheyenne mccormick says:

    My american staff has bothsides of his face swollen. Started with just the right then moved to both. He stilm acts normal and of course i administered antihistamines according to weight. Should i worry yet? Its been about 4 hrs and the swelling is still there

  224. Doc says:

    Hello, Cheyenne,

    Sorry I didn’t see this right away. Hope your dog is okay now. I wouldn’t expect antihistamines to work immediately. If swelling persisted, it would be okay to repeat, but if still present the next day, I’d take him to your veterinarian.

  225. Christy says:

    My dog got sprayed by a skunk and the tip of his one ear swelled up like a balloon. He has no respitory issues he doesn’t scratch it or whine he doesn’t even notice his ear unless you touch it then he just shakes his head. I am curious if I can let it come down naturally or if there’s anything I can do to help or is it a sit and wait if so how long for it to go away. Thanks 🙂

  226. Doc says:

    Hello, Christy,

    Check out the posts on Aural Hematoma, as that sounds like what you have.

    Probably will not go away without treatment.

  227. Amber Personett says:

    Hey, my dog had her shots on the 09/19 at 2pm and as of 11:45pm on 09/22 she has a swollen face. She hasn’t ate anything out of normal and I have given Benadryl at 11:55pm on 09/22. It’s now 6:45am on 09/23 and her swelling has moved from her whole face to the right side and into her jaw/neck area.
    Being a Sunday what should I do for her besides Benadryl? I’d love to not have a huge $$ bill for an ER Vet. She is still breathing normal and drinking and even sleeping okay (she sleeps in our bed). Thanks for any help.

  228. Doc says:

    Hello, Amber,

    I am sorry I did not see this earlier. I was traveling on the weekend and didn’t see email.

    I hope your dog is doing well. That sounds like you were dealing with an allergic reaction, but infections that settle in the lymph nodes under the neck can also produce this type of swelling.

    Best wishes.

  229. Michelle says:

    Hello! I have a 6yr old black lab mix. She had a knot below her left eye as big around as a dime for a week or so. Last night my husband touched it to see if it bothered her and this morning the entire left side of her muzzle is swollen. She seems fine other than the entire left side is swollen. Should I just try some benadryl and wait until tomorrow? Thank you!

  230. Doc says:

    Hello, Michelle,

    I don’t think Benadryl will hurt anything, but I will be surprised if it helps.

    It sounds like you may have had an abscess, and just that light pressure caused some of it to leak into the surrounding tissues, causing more widespread inflammation. I would recommend that you see your veterinarian.

  231. Katy says:

    Hello! I have a 6 year old welsh corgi and about a month ago I noticed swelling in her right side muzzle. I took her to the vet and they had trouble opening her mouth to look in. A bee sting was suspected at the time so they put her in carprofen and Benadryl for a week. Everything cleared up. Then about 2 weeks ago I woke up to find that she had a large swelling above her right eye. The eye had full motion and no redness. She didn’t appear to be in any pain and had normal appetite and energy. I brought her to the vet again and they suspected either another bee sting or a foreign object but could detect no foreign object. This time the also observed a slight fever where there was no fever the first time. This time they gave her a shot of Benadryl and put her on an antibiotic, carprofen and Benadryl. The swelling was totally healed in about 4 days. Now 2 days ago the swelling is back (same spot above the eye) all the symptoms are the same – slight fever and swelling but otherwise normal. I’ve given her Benadryl but it doesn’t seem to have much effect. The swollen area was tender initially but now is not. The swelling originally looked like an impact but now seems to have diffused (large area but does not protrude as much). The swelling is not hard and is warm. I’m picking up another round of antibiotics tomorrow from the vet but I’m concerned that this will only temporarily relieve the symptoms. Do you have any thoughts about what could be causing the swelling? Her teeth and gums on that side are in great shape. She does have a broken tooth on the other side but it has been the same since she was 6 months old and it never bothered her (she has no swelling on the side with the broken tooth). Thank you for your help!

  232. Doc says:

    Hello, Katy,

    If the swelling were below the eye, I would certainly suspect a tooth problem. Many of these cannot be seen in the mouth, and you have to take dental X-rays.

    Since it is above the eye and keeps recurring, I would be more suspicious of a possible tiny foreign body (a tiny piece of sticker burr or something). These can be terribly difficult to find.

    With the response to medication, it seems very unlikely that this is tumor of some kind.

    If it continues to recur, a surgical biopsy of the area may be needed.

    Be sure to share your concerns with your veterinarian. The doctor seeing your dog is usually the one best equipped to advise you.

    Best wishes.

  233. Doc says:

    Your point is well taken, as we don’t intend to eat the snake. However, I sometimes find that the vernacular communicates more effectively than the precise.

  234. AMANDA GOMEZ says:

    I would like to start by saying thank you so much for addressing everyone’s concerns. I have an interesting scenario and I just want to pick your brain.

    I have a twelve-year-old boxer. She started having some issues February 2019. She began to have face swelling between the eyes and the area of the muzzle. After a visit to the vet in mid February of 2019 she was diagnosed with an abscess and put on pred and clavamox for 2 weeks.  The follow up visit to the vet she still had some swelling so we continued the same treatment for another 2 weeks. At that time, the swelling reduced and we were able to take her off of the medicine. One month later, she began to have the swelling again in the same spot. Once again to the vet with the same treatment. The entire time she had swelling she was eating fine and had normal energy until the swelling was extreme (2-3 days followed by drainage). Since we continued to have this issue we decided to take her to a specialist following the recommendation of our vet. We did a CT scan and biopsy. 

    The interesting part is that the CT scan revealed an aggressive tumor (according to the speacialist) however the biopsy just revealed inflammation. The specialist was in disbelief and didn’t think we should repeat either procedure.This was on 4/1/2019. At this time, the specialist decided to take her off of the pred. and put her on 750mg of cephalexin 2x daily for 1.5 months. 

    On September 2019 she began to have swelling once again, on a return visit to the specialist we spoke about putting her on the cephalexin once again as she seemed to respond well to it. She takes 750 mg twice daily and is still taking the same dose today to control whatever this is. The only thing she has not had done are dental x-rays. The vets that have looked at her teeth all tell me they look good, I had her teeth cleaned about 2 months ago. Just one cracked tooth that does not seem to bother her.

    What are your thoughts as I would love to know since we have been battling this for over a year. I will add that we were even starting to prepare to loose our baby to this unknown mystery/tumor last April being so highly aggressive.

    I would be happy to send pictures if you want. I will check her in a moment for sticker burrs as I read in one of your comments and I never looked for that specifically. I am just looking for another opinion really as I have gotten 3 and still am not convinced.

  235. Doc says:

    Hello, Amanda,

    I am certainly no specialist in dentistry, internal medicine or radiology. If the cracked tooth is anywhere near this, I’d get it out of there.

    In reading your story, the specialist’s disbelief in the biopsy results really stands out. I’m not sure how the biopsy was performed, but small or superficial samples (especially needle biopsies) can miss things. If the thing looked like an aggressive tumor on the C-T scan, it would seem like a good idea to take a more extensive or deeper biopsy.

    Again, I haven’t seen any of this and am no expert.

    Trying to fully remove a tumor from that area with surgery alone is super difficult, but if you have diagnosis, then it is often possible to follow the surgery with radiation or chemo.

    Again, I’m just giving my opinion based on very incomplete knowledge of what was done.

  236. AMANDA GOMEZ says:

    Thanks. It was not just an fna biopsy. He got deep samples from the swollen tissue. I think i will make an appt to get her dental xrays when this covid 19 settles down a bit in miami. Or see if the vet is willing to just extract the tooth.

  237. Teddy says:

    Hi I’m not sure if this page still operates but I woke up to my dog with 1 side of his face swollen, I immediately took him (pitbull) to the vet cause it was my first time seeing this and it was really scary. The veterinarian didnt give us a clear answer as to what could be wrong but he gave him 2 injections and 2 different types of medications for him to take over the next 4 days. It’s the 2nd day now and then swelling has gotten slightly worse. I’m almost in a state of panic because I’m not sure what to think. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you

  238. Doc says:

    Hello, Teddy,

    Without seeing your dog, I would guess that such a sudden onset made your veterinarian think this was some type of allergic reaction, and you have been treating with some type of cortisone and antihistamine.

    If that is the case, and things are getting worse, then the diagnosis needs to be re-evaluated.

    It would be unusual for some type of infection to cause sudden swelling, and even more unusual (almost impossible) for tumor to do so.

    Big, sudden swelling equals leakage of fluid into the tissue, or failure of normal fluids to drain properly through the lymphatic system. Either there is some type of inflammation present in the location, or there is something in the lymph node that is filtering the normal drainage of fluid from that area.

    In any case, if it’s worse instead of better, you need to let your veterinarian know this. When he/she doesn’t hear from you, they assume everything is going great. They can’t help you if they don’t know what is going on.

  239. Danei Regidor says:

    I have a doberman mixed dog, she got bitten by a rat but that was 1 week ago. After that 1 week her face got swollen in the area of the bite. She don’t have abnormal behaviors, she plays her toys, eats, drinks water, she’s not vomiting, she’s not showing any weakness. Pretty normal but still there’s a swelling that is going on for days now. I can’t get her to the vet due to the covid 19 virus.

  240. Doc says:

    Hello, Danei,

    That sounds like the bite-wound has become infected. Sometimes the body’s own defenses will kill the bacteria without any obvious evidence of inflammation. The swelling could be cellulitis (where the infection is spread through the tissue, like water in a sponge). It could also be an abscess forming (a pocket of pus), which will need to be drained.

    Usually I would start a patient like this on antibiotics. If this is not possible, you could start with warm compresses.

    I run a pan of water as warm as I can stand to put my own hand in it. Then I use warm cloth to put heat on the area for 10 to 15 minutes 3 times daily.

    This helps stimulate the circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrition into the area.

  241. worried about my husky says:

    Today my 3 year old husky about 40 pounds face has swollen up right side both of her eyes bright red she is puking she did eat cookie dough but also got into a fight with our new rescue dog I gave her Benadryl kids strength but it did nothing for her just keeps puking so is it a food reaction or damage from the fight with the other dog? I looked for puncture wounds but could not find any

    • Doc says:

      Hello, I am sorry to be so late in replying, but our website was re-vamped and the blog comments went into limbo. I hope that your baby recovered without much trouble. It sounds like a case that would have needed your veterinarian if it didn’t resolve in a hurry.

  242. michael says:

    Hi doc, 4 days ago i came home to my dogs right eye as swollen i gave her a vitamin C supplement as i didn’t have benadryl/couldn’t afford. The next day the swelling goes down and everything seems fine. On the third day the right side of her cheek was swollen to the nose, later that day the swelling was relieved a little but not much, today she had both sides swollen and her left eye is now swollen as well. From what i have examined she has a fever, she couldn’t control her bowels(dirrhea) i believe i found a small puddle of throw up as well bc it was a light brown. I am taking her in tmr as on sundays in my area only emergency vets are open and are very expensive. Her name is cupid, A ausswheatan, (father german shepard, mother a terreier) she’s 1 year old maybe a little older. Do you have any advice for me? Anything would be appreciated, thank you for your time

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Michael, I am sorry to be so late in replying, but our website was re-vamped and the blog comments went into limbo. I hope that everything worked out well. If it weren’t for the diarrhea, I would have been betting on an abscessed tooth. Of course, there could be more than one thing going on.
      Best wishes.

  243. Connor says:

    My corgi suddenly has swelling on one side of his face above his snout. The spot seems to be sensitive/painful to the touch. I can run my fingers along his top gumline without any problem. There is an essentially 0% chance that he was bitten by any kind of mammal (barring a hidden houseguest), although I suppose an unseen insect while I am away is entirely possible. However there is no clear sign of a point of origin nor discoloration. If you didn’t know his face very well, you might not even be able to tell it was swollen, but the asymmetry is clearer from above.

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Connor, An insect sting would be the top of my list. If the swelling persists or increases, I would see your veterinarian.

  244. Savannah says:

    Hi 🙂 i have a German Short Hair Pointer (about 8, not sure because we got him from another family about 4 years ago). He was laying on my bed with me this morning and i noticed part of his face was swollen. (Under his eye). He is acting completely normal other than wanting to cuddle more than usually. We cant figure out if its an insect bite, tooth issue, or something else. Vets are extreamly hard to get into right now because of COVID, and my state is currently on lockdown, with not many vets around in the first place. I feel as if i should mention, he chews on alot of toys (typically toys) however me and my parents have caught him chewing on sticks (Which we take away but we live in the PNW, were thinking he takes the wood from our wood pile (sticking his head through out fence) but we arent 100% sure).

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Savannah,
      If this is an insect sting, we would expect the swelling to go down pretty rapidly on its own. With a tooth problem, the swelling can wax and wane, but isn’t likely to go away. It would certainly be worthwhile to look inside his mouth for any foreign objects. I have seen more than one dog with a chunk of bone or stick lodged up under his cheek.

      Many dogs with tooth abscesses don’t seem to be having much pain, but when the abscess is handled (root canal or extraction of the tooth), you usually see an improvement in the pet’s behavior.

  245. Cheyenne Edgecomb says:

    Hi there! My dog has swollen lymph nodes and I dont want to freak out, because idk if its an allergic reaction or something serious. He was outside recently and the day after he started showing signs of the swelling. Would benadryl help get the swelling down?

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Cheyenne,

      Swollen lymph nodes are usually reacting to an infection. Benadryl won’t hurt anything, but won’t help an infection.

      If the nodes have been swollen for a long time, then I would be concerned about possible tumors, but that is not likely if they just swelled up suddenly.

      If the swelling doesn’t go down, it’s time for a trip to your veterinarian.

  246. jonatha says:

    my dog has like the top of the nose bridge swollen like in between their eyes and im concerned idk if its a allergic reaction or a tumor please help :(! also his eyes have gotten swollen it all happend over night

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Jonathan,
      If this came up overnight, it is not very likely to be a tumor. An allergic reaction is possible, and sometimes a small wound can get infected and then get really swollen overnight. If it’s an allergic reaction, there’s a good chance that it will subside on its own. If not, you will need to see your veterinarian.

  247. Tim davis says:

    Hello, my 2 year old golden had stomach issues 3 days ago and vomited several times. We went to the vet and they gave us anti- naseau meds. She has been fine the last 2 days but tonight both her eyes swelled up above and below. Do you think this could be an allergy that just coincidently came after her stomach problem?

  248. Amanda says:

    Hi Doctor-
    Anna had swelling on the right side of her face and neck and directly under her chin. Seemed in good spirits- just looked weird and uncomfortable. Initial diagnosis was allergic, and very strong antihistamine was started along with antibiotic. After 4 days of minimal improvement and in fact increasing behavioral changes indicating illness/pain, took her to a larger vet hospital. Blood work performed. Pulled from all meds. Indicated CT scan was necessary. Blood work showed healthy dog other than slightly dehydrated. Did an aspirate, showed inflammation but nothing definitive of cancer. Back up the following day. Severely labored breathing, not eating, not drinking. Pain meds were given, escalated CT scan to following day. CY scan showed no foreign objects. Salivary mucecole (spelling that wrong I know!) was assumed with no cause, steroids and antibiotics given. Seemed to help significantly. Now we are at the stage of steroid every other day to ween her off, and the days following no steroid she is extremely lethargic, complete disinterest in normally happy and exciting things, swelling of face and neck in OTHER side now. I’m concerned there is something else going on and it’s being missed. Doctor said he doesn’t see the swelling on the other side but it’s so completely noticeable – both visually and to the touch. Again seems to be more noticeable on days following the skipped steroid. The day I took her in was a day after she had the steroid. If 1/2 a pill is helping that much with her behavior and the swelling, can that not in some way point to what the problem might be? Sick of going in circles and just want her to be better. This has been going on for almost a month now.

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Amanda,
      The response to steroids makes me wonder about whether the swelling is related to lymph node swelling, like lymphoma. A needle aspirate can miss things, and a biopsy may be indicated.

      Mucoceles don’t usually resolve with medication alone, and they don’t move around.

  249. Ayu says:

    Hi yesterday out of nowhere my dogs face just started swelling she just got some bumps around her eyes & her snout got puffy. But other than her appearance she was acting like a normal puppy, not in pain or anything. She is also itching her body a lot. I gave her a Benadryl but am not sure how consistently to give it to her or when I should see changes if it’s an okay home remedy to use.

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Ayu,
      That often happens with insect stings. Benadryl is pretty safe, and could be repeated as needed. If the condition persists, you should see your veterinarian.

  250. Vicki says:

    Hi there,
    Early today ( 9am) I noticed what appeared to be a bit of puffiness at the top my 6 year old boston terriers nose bilaterally. Throughout the day it seemed to become a bit red and the puffiness/swelling spread to his cheeks and jowls ( they were quite hard). He does not seem itchy, lethargic or bothered in any way, no pain sees associated or difficulty breathing. It’s winter here and there are no bees so we don’t know what he could be allergic to or could have bitten him.

    And about 7 hours after noticing the initial swelling, it was moving to his one eye and encroaching over the eye itself. We treated at home with 12mg of benadryl ( he is about 15 lbs) and within 15-20 mins the swelling was completely gone, he looked normal. It has been about two hours since giving him benadryl and it seems to be coming back ( redness and slight puffiness in the jowls). The benadryl is working but it’s getting late and i’m worried that it would progress, is this a sign we need to see the vet immediately?

  251. mimi says:

    hello, i’m not sure if you’re still taking questions but my dog (3 years old, chihuahua) has some swelling on his left cheek and it appears to be puffy and bloated, his right cheek is fine and he hasn’t shown any signs of coughing or anything but he has been less energetic and hasn’t been barking as much as he usually does so i’m worried. it just appeared this morning, is this something to be concerned about ? its hard to take him to a vet right now so i’m wondering if its alright to wait and see if it passes on its own or if i should try to get him to a vet asap

    • Doc says:

      Hello, Mimi,
      If he will let you, the first thing I would do would be to open his mouth and be sure that there is nothing caught between his cheek and the teeth. Also note if there is any bad odor in the area (which would also suggest a foreign body or infection).
      If a bee-sting, it will almost certainly get better overnight.
      An abscessed tooth is a real possibility in this area. Sometimes your veterinarian will be able to make the determination from a physical examination, but it often takes dental X-rays under light anesthesia. If that is the case, antibiotics may calm it down for a while, but extraction of the tooth is what is needed.

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